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Harold Weston papers

Creator:
Weston, Harold, 1894-1972  Search this
Names:
Adirondack Trail Improvement Society  Search this
Committee to Defend America by Aiding the Allies (UNITED STATES OF AMERICA). Americans-in-Britain Outpost  Search this
Corcoran Gallery of Art  Search this
Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors  Search this
Food for Freedom, Inc.  Search this
Harvard Lampoon (Organization)  Search this
Harvard University -- Students  Search this
International Association of Art. United States Committee  Search this
Montross Gallery  Search this
National Council on the Arts and Government  Search this
National Endowment for the Arts  Search this
New York State Council on the Arts  Search this
Phillips Collection  Search this
Studio House (Phillips Memorial Gallery)  Search this
Carmichael, Leonard, 1898-1973  Search this
Dows, Olin, 1904-1981  Search this
Mumford, Lewis, 1895-1990  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962  Search this
Rosenfeld, Paul, 1890-1946  Search this
Sizer, Theodore, 1892-1967  Search this
Weston, Faith  Search this
Extent:
24.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Christmas cards
Notes
Etchings
Speeches
Articles
Postcards
Poems
Woodcuts
Sketches
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Glass negatives
Lantern slides
Copper plates
Place:
Adirondack Mountain Reserve (N.Y.)
Date:
1894-1978
bulk 1912-1972
Summary:
The papers of modernist painter and activist Harold Weston (1894-1972) date from 1894 to 1978 and measure 24.3 linear feet. The papers focus on Weston's painting career and his involvement with humanitarian and artistic causes. Found are biographical materials, correspondence, personal business records, association and organization records, commission and project files, materials relating to Weston's book Freedom in the Wilds, writings, artwork, printed materials, two scrapbooks, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of modernist painter and activist Harold Weston (1894-1972) date from 1894 to 1978 and measure 24.3 linear feet. The papers focus on Weston's painting career and his involvement with humanitarian and artistic causes. Found are biographical materials, correspondence, personal business records, association and organization records, commission and project files, materials relating to Weston's book Freedom in the Wilds, writings, artwork, printed materials, two scrapbooks, and photographs. The papers document his involvement with the Committee to Defend America, Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors, Food for Freedom, the International Association of the Plastic Arts, National Countil on the Arts and Government, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council for the Arts, Reconstruction Service Committee, and the YMCA in Baghdad.

Biographical materials include biographical sketches and resumes, including a short biography written by Faith Weston in 1969. There are records from his school years at Exeter Academy and Harvard University that include yearbooks, report cards, scholarship information, Harvard Lampoon materials, and a diploma from Harvard. Also found are materials relating to Faith Weston, membership cards, memorials information, passports and travel papers, and wedding wishes.

Correspondence from Harold Weston dates from his school years up until his death in 1972. In letters to his family, Weston discusses his education; his travel and activities in the Middle East during World War I; the Adirondacks; convalescense in France in the mid-1920s; his immediate family life; and exhibitions. Also found are holiday cards designed and printed by Weston. The majority of correspondence is with his father S. Burns Weston, mother Mary, sister Esther, brother Carl, Faith Weston and the Borton family, children Barbara, Bruce, and Haroldine, and others. Also found are letters between Weston and friend Theodore Sizer and Duncan Phillips of the Phillips Collection in Washington, D.C.

Personal business and financial records relating to Weston's exhibitions include delivery receipts, agreements, hand-drawn gallery plans for exhibitions, lists of exhibitions, framing invoices, legal information, pricelists, records of sales, and lists of works of art. Galleries with which Weston held exhibitions, sold, or lent works of art include Boyer Galleries, Corcoran Gallery, the Gallery in Paoli, Montross Gallery, the Phillips Collection, and Studio House Galleries.

Records relating to Harold Weston's memberships and involvement with professional associations and service organizations are from the Adirondack Trail Improvement Society, the Committee to Defend America, Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors, Food for Freedom, International Association of the Plastic Arts/International Arts Association, National Countil on the Arts and Government, National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, Reconstruction Service Committee, and the Young Men's Christian Association, Baghdad. The files include correspondence, financial records, meetings and membership information, notes, organizational history, photographs, printed materials, programs and activities records, speeches, and writings.

Files that document Weston's Building the United Nations and the Treasury Relief Project sponsored "Procurement Building Murals" are found within the Commissions and Project files series. The files include correspondence, financial information, legal documents, photographs of the works of art and research photos, and printed materials. Correspondence of note includes letters written by Lewis Mumford, Duncan Phillips, Eleanor Roosevelt on behalf of Weston's Building of the United Nations and letters from Leonard Carmichael, Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. Letters from Olin Dows of the Treasury Relief Art Project are within correspondence relating to the "Procurement Building Murals." Also found are preliminary sketches of the murals.

The Freedom in the Wilds series contains materials relating to the book which combined Weston's autobiography with a history of the Adirondack Mountain Reserve. Additional writings and notes are by Harold Weston and others, and include articles, poetry, notes, speech notes and speeches, and lists. Harold Weston's articles include "Persian Caravan Sketches" published in 1921 discussing his travels throughout the Middle East. Other articles are written by Duncan Phillips, Paul Rosenfeld, Barbara Weston, and Faith Weston. Also found are postcards annoted with notes by Harold Weston about his travels.

Artwork inlcudes sketches, etchings, copperplates, and woodcuts. There are copperplates entitled "Shroud" and of the series Building the United Nations for the Harvard Alumni bulletin in 1957; an untitled etching by Weston; sketches including those from Baghdad and watercolor sketches; a woodcut of the 1924 Weston holiday card; and scattered unsigned sketches probably not by Weston.

Printed materials include calendars with notations; clippings; exhibition catalogs and announcements for Weston's exhibitions dating from 1922-1976 and for others; gallery tags or labels for paintings shown in exhibitions; reproductions of illustrations for the Harvard Lampoon and full issues from 1911-1916; materials relating to the Harvard production of Henry IV, for which Weston designed the sets; reproductions of works of art by Weston and by others; school seals; and various art related publications.

There are two scrapbooks compiled by Faith Weston about her husband. The first contains materials relating to Weston's activity with the International Association of the Plastic Arts Conference of 1963, including a letter and photograph of President John F. Kennedy. The second scrapbook dates from 1977 and consists of general clippings relating to Weston's career, dating from 1917 to 1952 with additional materials added by Faith in 1977.

Photographs are of Weston, family members, exhibitions and installations, and works of art by Weston and others. There are also numerous photographs of Weston's travel through the Adirondacks, the Middle East, Europe, and India. Also found are glass plate negatives of works of art painted in France between 1926-1930; scattered glass plate negatives of Baghdad and the Middle East; glass plates belonging to S. Burns Weston of the Adirondacks, circa 1900; and approximately 100 lantern slides of the various Middle Eastern cities and ruins - probably used by Weston to illustrate his talks given in the 1920s.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 11 series. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers:

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1896-1974 (Box 1, 38; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1894-1975 (Box 1-3, 38; 2.5 linear feet)

Series 3: Personal Business and Financial records, 1912-1977 (Box 4; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 4: Associations and Organizations records, 1916-1972 (Box 4-10, 37-38; 6.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Commissions and Project files, 1935-1965 (Box 10-12, 38, OV 39; 1.4 linear feet)

Series 6: -- Freedom in the Wilds -- records, late 1960s-1976 (Box 12-13; 1.8 linear feet)

Series 7: Writings and Notes, 1912-1975 (Box 13-14; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 8: Artwork and Artifacts, circa 1917-1967 (Box 14, 21; 0.6 linear feet)

Series 9: Printed Material, circa 1900-1978 (Box 15-18, 38; 2.5 linear feet)

Series 10: Scrapbooks, circa 1963-1977 (Box 17-18; 0.5 linear feet)

Series 11: Photographs, circa 1900-1975 (Box 18-20, 22-36, 38; 4.8 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
Modernist painter and federal Treasury Relief Art Project artist Harold Weston (1894-1972) worked primarily in New York City and St. Huberts, New York in the Adirondacks. Weston was president of the U.S. Commission of the International Association of Art/Plastic Arts and the Federation of Modern Painters and Scultors. He was also chairman of the National Council on the Arts and Government and active with various political and humanitarian causes.

Harold Weston was born in 1894 in Merion, Pennsylvania into a privileged family. He attended school in Europe as a teenager, where he began to draw and sketch. In 1910, Harold contracted Polio which left him with a weak leg. After graduating from Exeter Academy, Harold entered Harvard University with the class of 1916 and was active in the Delta Upsilon Club and the Harvard Lampoon, for which he illustrated.

Despite his leg, Weston was determined to serve in some form during World War I. He traveled to Baghdad and volunteered with the YMCA. Here he started the Baghdad Art Club and organized exhibitions of soldier art. He remained in the Middle East until 1919 and served as the official painter for the British Army. The colors and the landscape of the region also inspired later works of art.

Upon returning to the United States, Weston built a one-room cabin in the Adirondack Mountains, where he lived and painted. He had his first one-man exhibtition at the Montross Gallery in 1922. In 1923, he married Faith Borton who moved with him to the Adirondacks. His wife inspired his series of "landscape nudes" which treated the body with different techniques that would typically be used in landscape painting. After suffering from a kidney infection in 1925, Weston and his wife moved to Ceres, France to recover. Weston continued to paint and started a family with Faith while in France. In 1930, the family moved back to the United States and lived in Greenwich Village, New York.

From 1936-1938, Harold Weston worked with the federal Treasury Relief Art Project and painted murals in the Procurement Building in Washington, D.C. The murals represent the growth of public buildings during the Great Depression. He took on a second major project to document the contruction of the United Nations in a series of six paintings. Later, the Smithsonian Instution received the paintings as gifts through an independent committee.

In addition to painting, Harold Weston devoted himself to public service by becoming involved in humanitarian causes, artist professional organizations, and federal government support of the arts. Weston served as president or chairman of three different organizations including the Federation of Modern Painters and Sculptors, the International Association of Art/International Association of the Plastic Art, and the National Council on the Arts and Government. Before the start of World War II, Harold Weston was named the Chairman of Essex County Committee to Defend America, which argued for financial support of the allied forces in World War II. After the start of the war, he helped form the Food for Freedom movement which urged American aid for European and Asian refugees. Similarly, Weston served as Executive Secretary for the Reconstruction Service Committee which was established to assist the rebuilding of Europe.

Later in life, Weston wrote a book Freedom in the Wilds, which combined his own autobiography with a history of the Adirondack Mountain Reserve. Harold Weston died on April 10th, 1972 in New York City.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel N69-76) including biographic notes, exhibition material, clippings, a presentation album, and commemorative stamps. Some, but not all, of these papers were included in later donations. Materials not donated remain with the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.

Syracuse University also holds circa 14 linear feet of Harold Weston's papers.
Provenance:
Harold Weston lent the Archives of American Art materials for microfilming in 1969. Faith Borton Weston, Harold Weston's widow, donated the papers in several increments between 1972-1980 and lent materials for microfilming in 1977.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Painting, Abstract -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Art and state  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
World War, 1914-1918 -- Personal narratives, American  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Christmas cards
Notes
Etchings
Speeches
Articles
Postcards
Poems
Woodcuts
Sketches
Photographs
Scrapbooks
Glass negatives
Lantern slides
Copper plates
Citation:
Harold Weston papers, 1894-1978. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.westharo
See more items in:
Harold Weston papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-westharo
Online Media:

Oral history interview with Dorothy C. Miller

Interviewee:
Miller, Dorothy Canning, 1904-2003  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project  Search this
Museum of Modern Art (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Cahill, Holger, 1887-1960  Search this
Calder, Alexander, 1898-1976  Search this
D'Harnoncourt, Rene, 1901-1968  Search this
Dickinson, Edwin Walter, 1891-1978  Search this
Evans, Walker, 1903-1975  Search this
Feininger, Lyonel, 1871-1956  Search this
Graves, Morris, 1910-  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Rivera, Diego, 1886-1957  Search this
Rockefeller, Nelson A. (Nelson Aldrich), 1908-1979  Search this
Rothko, Mark, 1903-1970  Search this
Tobey, Mark  Search this
Warburg, Edward M. M.  Search this
Extent:
260 Pages (Transcript)
18 Items (sound files (20 hrs., 42 min.), digital, wav)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1970 May 26-1971 Sept. 28
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Dorothy Miller conducted 1970 May 26-1971 Sept. 28, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art.
Miller speaks of her childhood and family background; the beginning of her career in museums; her first trip to Europe; the Depression and its effect on the art world; the establishment of the WPA Federal Art Project; the scandal over the Diego Rivera mural in Rockefeller Center; getting started with the Museum of Modern Art in its early years; working with Alfred Barr; early exhibitions at the MOMA; meeting Mark Tobey and Morris Graves; meeting Holger Cahill; Cahill's background; Cahill's involvement with the WPA Federal Art Project, and the Project's early years; post-war changes in American art and the post-war years at the MOMA; Shaker design; some of her colleagues at the MOMA.
She recalls Duncan Phillips, Rene D'Harnoncourt, Jackson Pollock, Edward M.M. Warburg, Nelson Rockefeller, Mark Rothko, Louise Nevelson, Alexander Calder, Lyonel Feininger, Walker Evans, and Edwin Dickinson.
Biographical / Historical:
Dorothy C. Miller (1904-2003) was an art museum curator from New York, N.Y.
General:
Originally recorded on 10 sound tape reel. Reformatted in 2010 as 18 digital wav files. Duration is 20 hrs., 42 min.
Provenance:
These interviews are part of the Archives' 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:
Transcript: Available on microfilm.
Topic:
Art museum curators -- New York (State) -- New York -- Interviews  Search this
Function:
Art museums -- New York (State) -- New York
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.miller70
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-miller70

Suzanne Mullett Smith papers

Creator:
Smith, Suzanne Mullett  Search this
Names:
American Art Research Council  Search this
American University (Washington, D.C.). Fine Arts Dept. -- Faculty  Search this
Alan, Charles, 1908?-1975  Search this
Dove, Arthur Garfield, 1880-1946  Search this
Jewell, Edward Alden, 1888-1947  Search this
O'Keeffe, Georgia , 1887-1986  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Extent:
3 Linear feet ((partially microfilmed on 3 reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1923-1989
Scope and Contents:
Primarily research material compiled by Smith for her MA Thesis on Arthur Dove (1944, American University), and for the American Art Research Council, and papers relating to Smith's personal life and career as a painter.
REEL 1043: Photocopies of 19 letters and 2 telegrams from Dove and his wife Helen ("Reds") to Smith, 1943-1944 (originals donated in 1992); a card catalog of Dove's paintings; and a typescript of the 1976 revised edition of Smith's master's thesis, "Arthur G. Dove: A Study in Contemporary Art."
REELS 2425-2426: Provenance records for ca. 700 of Dove's paintings and sketches, compiled by Smith under the auspices of the American Art Research Council, containing information about title, ownership, medium, special markings on picture and frame, condition, date of work, and exhibition of work.
UNMICROFILMED: Personal papers relating to Smith's career and civic and social activities in the Washington, D.C. area, 1923-1988, including correspondence, letters to her husband, Gordon H. Smith, while he was an army musician stationed in California in 1944; class notes from her studies at American University; annotated sketchbooks; Smith's wedding album; printed material; and photographs of Smith, relatives and friends, including artist Peter Hurd.
Also included are materials on Dove, 1936-1989, including letters concerning Dove from Georgia O'Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Alden Jewell, Duncan Phillips,and Charles Alan; Smith's 1944 edition of her master's thesis; research notes on Dove, including transcribed Dove writings and correspondence; printed material; slides of Dove's work; and 4 microfilm reels of material collected during her research, portions contained in her papers.
Biographical / Historical:
Art historian, author, painter (1913-1989) of Washington, D.C.
Provenance:
Material on reels 2425-2426 donated 1972 by Nathaly Baum. Material on reel 1043 lent for microfilming 1976 by Smith, and except for the 1976 revised thesis, was subsequently donated along with the unmicrofilmed material 1992 by Daisy Mullet Smith, Smith's daughter.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Art historians -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Painting, American  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.smitsuza
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-smitsuza

William Schack papers

Creator:
Schack, William, b. 1898  Search this
Names:
Barnes, Albert C. (Albert Coombs), 1872-1951  Search this
Benton, Thomas Hart, 1889-1975  Search this
Biddle, George, 1885-1973  Search this
Davis, Charles H. (Charles Harold), 1856-1933  Search this
Dreier, Katherine Sophie, 1877-1952  Search this
Eilshemius, Louis M. (Louis Michel), 1864-1941  Search this
Glackens, Ira, 1907-1990  Search this
Hille, Hermann  Search this
Michener, James A. (James Albert), 1907-  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Extent:
0.9 Linear feet ((on 2 partial microfilm reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1891-1963
Scope and Contents:
Research materials for Schack's books on Albert C. Barnes and Louis Michel Eilshemius, ART AND ARGYROL: THE LIFE AND CAREER OF DR. ALBERT C. BARNES and AND HE SAT AMONG ASHES.
REEL D193: Eilshemius material, including fifteen letters, 1891-1831, primarily thanks from Eilshemius to C. H. Collins, a poet and a critic who favorably reviewed Eilshemius' books of verse, "Mamon" and "'Lady' Vere" in local Hillsboro, Ohio papers; 2 letters, undated and 1936, from Eilshemius to Schack; 13 hotel and restaurant receipts, 1893-1903; a certificate concerning Eilshemius' coat-of-arms; 21 clippings, 1897-1917; 3 tickets, 1903; a place card from the Art Students at Paris' Thanksgiving dinner at Restaurant Lapérouse, 1887; and a map of Arlington, Hudson County, New Jersey, 1900. The place card and the map were not microfilmed. Other Eilshemius material from sources other than Schack appearing on microfilm reel D193 has been cataloged and housed separately.
REEL 2917: Barnes and Eilshemius material. Barnes material includes correspondence with Ira Glackens, Dr. Hermann Hille, George Biddle, Thomas Hart Benton, James A. Michener, and others; notes; manuscript pages; a catalog; printed material; and a photograph. Eilshemius material includes letters to Eilshemius; Schack's correspondence with Katherine S. Dreier, Duncan Phillips, and others; notes; copies of writings on Eilshemius by others; and clippings.
Biographical / Historical:
Writer; Jerusalem, Israel.
Provenance:
Material on reel D193 donated 1959 by William Schack. These papers appear on the microfilm with records of the Valentine Gallery relating to Eilshemius.
Material on reel 2917 donated 1981 by William Schack.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Biographers  Search this
Topic:
Art -- Biography  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.schawill
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-schawill

Oral history interview with V. V. Rankine

Interviewee:
Rankine, V. V., 1920-2004  Search this
Interviewer:
Kirwin, Liza  Search this
Names:
Betty Parsons Gallery  Search this
Black Mountain College (Black Mountain, N.C.)  Search this
David Herbert Gallery  Search this
Institute of Contemporary Arts (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Jefferson Place Gallery  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Bader, Franz, 1903-1994  Search this
Brooks, James, 1906-1992  Search this
Callahan, Harry M.  Search this
Cunningham, Merce  Search this
Davis, Gene, 1920-1985  Search this
De Kooning, Elaine  Search this
De Kooning, Willem, 1904-1997  Search this
Denney, Alice  Search this
Dorrance, Nesta  Search this
Downing, Thomas, 1928-1985  Search this
Duncan, Augustin  Search this
Fuller, R. Buckminster (Richard Buckminster), 1895-1983  Search this
Gabo, Naum, 1890-1977  Search this
Gilliam, Sam, 1933-  Search this
Gorky, Agnes  Search this
Gorky, Arshile, 1904-1948  Search this
Graham, John, 1887-1961  Search this
Guston, Philip, 1913-1980  Search this
Halle, Kay  Search this
Hare, David, 1917-1992  Search this
Helburn, Theresa, 1887-1959  Search this
Johnson, Ray, 1927-1995  Search this
Kennedy, Kit  Search this
Kiesler, Frederick  Search this
Kinney, Gilbert H.  Search this
Krasner, Lee, 1908-1984  Search this
Lassaw, Ibram, 1913-2003  Search this
Leopold, Richard  Search this
Louis, Morris, 1912-1962  Search this
Magruder, Esther  Search this
Merrill, Kevin  Search this
Nelson, Wretha  Search this
Nevelson, Louise, 1899-1988  Search this
Newman, Bonnie  Search this
Noland, Kenneth, 1924-2010  Search this
Ozenfant, Amédée, 1886-1966  Search this
Pace, Stephen, 1918-2010  Search this
Parsons, Betty  Search this
Penn, Arthur, 1922-  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Pollock, Jackson, 1912-1956  Search this
Rauschenberg, Robert, 1925-2008  Search this
Renault, Jean  Search this
Richman, Robert  Search this
Russo, Alexander  Search this
Sheridan, Walt  Search this
Sherman, Saul  Search this
Snelson, Kenneth, 1927-2016  Search this
Soyer, Moses, 1899-1974  Search this
Soyer, Raphael, 1899-1987  Search this
Sweeney, James Johnson, 1900-  Search this
Thomas, Dylan, 1914-1953  Search this
Truitt, Anne, 1921-2004  Search this
Warhol, Andy, 1928-1987  Search this
Yektai, Manoucher, 1922-  Search this
Youngerman, Jack, 1926-2020  Search this
Extent:
34 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1990 Mar. 2-22
Scope and Contents:
An interview of V. V. Rankine conducted 1990 Mar. 2-22, by Liza Kirwin, for the Archives of American Art.
Rankine discusses the evolution of her nickname, V.V.; discovering her dyslexia; growing up in Boston; auditioning for a part in, "The Philadelphia Story"; her art studies with Amedee Ozenfant from 1944 to 1946; her studies at Black Mountain College with Josef Albers and Willem De Kooning in 1947; her friendship with Morris Louis and watching him work; living with her brother-in-law Arshile Gorky, in New York City; her first one-woman show at the David Herbert Gallery in New York in 1962; exhibiting at the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York and at the Jefferson Place Gallery in Washington, D.C.; Robert Richman and the Institute of Contemporary Arts; the relationship between her painting and her sculpture; favorite shapes and materials; and her summer home in East Hampton and artist friends there. Rankine also recalls Robert Rauschenberg, Jack Youngerman, Manoucher Yektai, Betty Parsons, Ibram Lassaw, Buckminster Fuller, Elaine De Kooning, Arthur Penn, Richard Leopold, John Cage, Merce Cunningham, Ken Noland, Morris Louis, Ray Johnson, Kenneth Snelson, David Hare, Frederick Kiesler, Raphael Soyer, Moses Soyer, Jean Renault, Agnes Gorky, Esther Magruder, James Johnson Sweeney, Jim Brooks, John Graham, Phillip Guston, Duncan Phillips, Theresa Helburn, Augustine Duncan, Tom Downing, Gene Davis, Alice Denney, Nesta Dorrance, Kevin Merrill, Sam Gilliam, Dylan Thomas, Kay Halle, Kit Kennedy, Naum Gabo, President Lyndon B. Johnson, Anne Truitt, Wretha Nelson, Franz Bader, Louise Nevelson, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, Bonnie Newman, Alexander Russo, Walt Sheridan, Gilbert Kinney, Saul Sherman, Steve Pace, Lee Krasner, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
V.V. Rankine (1920-2004) was a painter and sculptor from Washington, D.C. Variable forms of the artist's name are notably E. R. (Elvine Richard) Rankine, Vivian Scott Rankine, and her married name, Mrs. Paul Scott.
General:
Originally recorded on 3 sound cassettes. Reformatted in 2010 as 5 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hrs., 53 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.
Occupation:
Painters -- Washington (D.C.) -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Sculptors -- Washington (D.C.) -- Interviews  Search this
Women artists -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.rankin90
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-rankin90

Oral history interview with Marjorie Phillips

Interviewee:
Phillips, Marjorie, 1895-1985  Search this
Interviewer:
Cummings, Paul  Search this
Names:
Phillips Collection  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Extent:
1 Sound tape (Sound recording: 1 sound tape, 5 in.)
36 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound tapes
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1974 June 27
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Marjorie Phillips conducted 1974 June 27, by Paul Cummings, for the Archives of American Art. Phillips speaks of the Art Students League; marriage to Duncan Phillips and starting a gallery in the family house, exhibitions, purchases of art work; forming the collection; influence of the Phillips Collection; her book Duncan Phillips and His Collection; and her own painting and exhibition.
Biographical / Historical:
Marjorie Phillips (1895-1985) was a painter and collector from Washington, D.C. Wife of Duncan Phillips. Social Security Death Index and the Phillips Collection website site her birth date as 1894.
General:
Originally recorded on 1 sound tape. Reformatted in 2010 as 1 digital wav files. Duration is 1 hr., 1 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives' 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 -- Washington (D.C.) -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Art, American  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- Washington (D.C.) -- Interviews  Search this
Collectors -- Washington, D.C. -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.philli74
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-philli74

The Phillips Collection records

Creator:
Phillips Collection  Search this
Names:
Dove, Arthur Garfield, 1880-1946  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Phillips, Marjorie, 1895-1985  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Tack, Augustus Vincent, 1870-1949  Search this
Extent:
68 Microfilm reels
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Microfilm reels
Date:
1920-1960
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence files, arranged chronologically and alphabetically; gallery records; operational records; music program files; and exhibition files.
REELS 1929-1994: Correspondence, largely concerning the foundation, operation, and acquisitions of the museum; gallery records; music program files; and exhibition files.
REEL 1890: Correspondence with artist Augustus Vincent Tack.
REEL 1926: Correspondence with artists Arthur Dove and Alfred Stieglitz.
Biographical / Historical:
The Phillips Collection (estab. 1921) is an art museum in Washington, D.C. Founded in 1921 by collector and art connoisseur, Duncan Phillips, and his wife, Marjorie, upon opening his home to the public. Collection consists primarily of 19th and 20th century European and American art. In 1960 the Goh Annex was added to the original 1897 Georgian Revival house to expand the museums's exhibition space. The Goh annex was renovated in 1989.
Provenance:
The collection was microfilmed in 1979 by the Archives of American Art.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Rights:
Authorization to quote or reproduce for the purposes of publication requires written permission from Karen Schneider, Librarian, the Phillips Collection. Contact Reference Services for more information.
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Art -- Collectors and collecting  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States  Search this
Art, American  Search this
Function:
Art museums -- Washington (D.C.)
Identifier:
AAA.philcoll
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-philcoll

Walter Quirt papers

Creator:
Quirt, Walter, 1902-  Search this
Names:
Bearden, Romare, 1911-1988  Search this
Coates, Robert M. (Robert Myron), 1897-1973  Search this
Davis, Stuart, 1892-1964  Search this
Franz, Eduard, 1902-1983  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Rattner, Abraham  Search this
Scholl, Evelyn Harwood, b. 1899  Search this
Steig, William, 1907-  Search this
Extent:
3 Reels (ca. 1300 items (on 3 microfilm reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Reels
Date:
1928-1976
Scope and Contents:
Ca. 600 letters from Romare Bearden, Stuart Davis, Eduard Franz, Abraham Rattner, Evelyn Scholl, William Steig, Robert Coates, Duncan Phillips and others; ca. 300 photographs of family, friends, and works of art; a sketchbook; notes and theoretical writings on art; catalogs; biographical information; clippings and other printed material.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter, teacher; Minneapolis, Minn. Died 1968. Taught at the University of Minnesota, 1945-1968.
Provenance:
The lender, Eleanor Quirt, is the widow of Walter Quirt. She was assisted in organizing the papers by Francis V. O'Connor.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Educators -- Minnesota -- Minneapolis  Search this
Painters -- Minnesota -- Minneapolis  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.quirwalt
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-quirwalt

William Meyerowitz and Theresa F. Bernstein papers

Creator:
Meyerowitz, William, 1887-1981  Search this
Bernstein, Theresa  Search this
Names:
Arms, John Taylor, 1887-1953  Search this
Blashfield, Edwin Howland, 1848-1936  Search this
Bluemner, Oscar, 1867-1938  Search this
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, Jr., 1841-1935  Search this
Karolik, Maxim  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Saint-Gaudens, Homer, b. 1880  Search this
Ward, Lynd, 1905-1985  Search this
Weichsel, John, 1870-1946  Search this
Extent:
1.2 Linear feet ((on 4 microfilm reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Drawings
Date:
1915-1978
Scope and Contents:
Biographical accounts, letters, notes, writings, art work, scrapbooks, printed material, and photographs document the careers of William Meyerowitz and his wife Theresa Bernstein, both painters and printmakers.
REELS D285-D285a: Letters, 1918-1967, from patrons and colleagues, including John Taylor Arms, Edwin Blashfield, Maxim Karolik, Duncan Phillips, and John Weichsel; exhibition announcements and catalogs, 1920-1967; 35 photographs of art works; a scrapbook, 1923-1944, containing exhibition announcements and catalogs, a clipping, and a photograph of an art work; 16 drawings; 3 prints; a list of Bernstein's work; 2 poems; a 4-page typescript "Reflections on the Art Status" by Bernstein; a typescript concerning painting in America by Oscar Bluemner; miscellaneous manuscripts, undated and 1964; 2 receipts for gifts of art work, 1927 and 1957; and a copy of the by-laws of the Cape Ann Arts Council, 1955.
REEL N69-137: Three exhibition catalogs, 1969, for works of Meyerowitz and Bernstein.
REEL 4866: Biographical accounts; 2 award certificates for Bernstein; letters, 1921-1978, from patrons and colleagues, including Oliver Wendell Holmes, Homer Saint-Gaudens, and Lynd Ward; 3 lists of Bernstein's works; 7 poems; a manuscript "On Portraiture"; a typescript by Bernstein about Meyerowitz' work; 22 drawings; 1 print; a scrapbook of clippings, 1915-1918; a scrapbook, undated and 1931, containing a clipping, a photograph of an art work, and exhibition catalogs; clippings, 1929-1978; a reprint "On the Need of Art" by Meyerowitz, 1944; exhibition announcements and catalogs, 1921-1977; reproductions of art works; a card advertising a summer art course taught by Meyerowitz and Bernstein; 10 photographs of the artists, 1930-1962; and 19 photographs of art works.
Biographical / Historical:
Painters and printmakers; New York, N.Y. William Meyerowitz was born in Russia in either 1889 or 1898. Moving to New York in 1908, he studied at the National Academy of Design from 1912-1916. He married Theresa Bernstein in 1918, and travelled in Europe from 1922-1923. During his exhibition at the Corcoran in 1930, he met Oliver Wendell Holmes, who became a patron and a subject for later work. Theresa Bernstein was born in Philadelphia and studied at the Philadelphia School of Design, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and continued her studies at the Art Students League in New York. She died on Feb. 13, 2002, and was generally believed to be 111, though she could have been as old as 116.
Provenance:
Donated 1966-1978 by Mr. and Mrs. William Meyerowitz. Microfilmed 1994 with funding provided by the Henry and Lucy Moses Fund, the Lucius N. Littauer Foundation, the Goldie-Anna Charitable Trust, the Samuel Bronfman Foundation, and the Louis and Anne Abrons Foundation.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Etchers  Search this
Painters  Search this
Topic:
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Women painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Etching -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Jewish artists  Search this
Genre/Form:
Drawings
Identifier:
AAA.meyewill
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-meyewill

William Horace Littlefield papers

Creator:
Littlefield, William Horace, 1902-1969  Search this
Names:
Club (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts (Provincetown, Mass.)  Search this
New School for Social Research (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Busa, Peter, 1914-1985  Search this
Draper, Muriel, b. 1886  Search this
Grimaldi, Vincent  Search this
Hayter, Stanley William, 1901-1988  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Kirstein, Lincoln, 1907-  Search this
MacLeish, Archibald, 1892-1982  Search this
Mayor, A. Hyatt (Alpheus Hyatt), 1901-1980  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Sachs, Paul J. (Paul Joseph), 1878-1965  Search this
Wheeler, Monroe, 1899-  Search this
Extent:
6.2 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Date:
1920-1969
Scope and Contents:
Biographical information, correspondence, photographs, writings, works of art, scrapbooks, artists' and organization files, and inventories documenting William Littlefield's career and a painter, writer, and art collector.
Biographical material includes resumes and awards. Correspondence is with family, friends, galleries, and others, including letters from Littlefirld written while studying in Paris and other European cities. Correspondents include Jean Paul Slusser, Vincent Grimaldi, Stanley William Hayter, Monroe Wheeler, Paul Sachs, Mary Rockwell, Lincoln Kirstein, Duncan Phillips, Muriel Draper, A. Hyatt Mayor, Peter Busa, Archibald MacLeish, among others. Photographs are of Littlefield, his work, friends, and works of art by others. Writings include poetry, articles, essays, notes, a draft for "The Son," a ballet by Littlefield, 1934, and a transcript of a speech by Hans Hofmann given at the Riverside Museum, New York City, Feb. 16, 1941. Works of art include sketches by Littlefield and Stanley Hayter.
Scrapbooks and artists' files contain printed material, correspondence and photographs pertaining to Frank and Isabel Moser, and Mary Peixotto, Herman Heilborn and Alexis Arapoff and others. Organization files include the Hans Hofmann School of Fine Arts, the New School for Social Research, and The Club, of which he was a member. Inventories include works of art by Littlfield and in his estate.
Biographical / Historical:
William Horace Littlefield (1902-1969) was a painter, writer, and art collector in New York, N.Y.
Provenance:
Donated 1971 by Nancy Stiner, an antique dealer who bought the papers, in 1992, by Fred J. Stone who purchased the estate, in 2007 by Peggy Stone, Fred Stone's daughter, and in 2011 by Arthur Hughes, who purchased the additional material from Nancy Stiner.
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:
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Painting, American  Search this
Painting, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art -- Collectors and collecting -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Identifier:
AAA.littwill
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-littwill

Karl Knaths papers

Creator:
Knaths, Karl, 1891-1971  Search this
Names:
Roseberg, Paul and Company  Search this
Einstein, Carl, 1885-1940  Search this
Hofmann, Hans, 1880-1966  Search this
Knaths, Karl, 1891-1971  Search this
Malevich, Kazimir Severinovich, 1878-1935  Search this
Mehler, F. A.  Search this
Meierhans, Joseph, b. 1890  Search this
Mocsanyi, Paul  Search this
Mondrian, Piet, 1872-1944  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Phillips, Marjorie, 1895-1985  Search this
Extent:
8.9 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Diaries
Sketchbooks
Paintings
Manuscripts
Prints
Sketches
Transcripts
Date:
1890-1973
bulk 1922-1971
Summary:
The papers of cubist painter Karl Knaths measure 8.9 linear feet and date from 1890 to 1973, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1922 to 1971. The collection includes biographical material, personal and professional correspondence, four diaries, 22 notebooks and notes on theoretical color and compositional approaches to painting, published and draft copies of essays on art, miscellaneous printed material, 132 sketchbooks and other artwork.
Scope and Contents note:
The papers of cubist painter Karl Knaths measure 8.9 linear feet and date from 1890 to 1973, with the bulk of the materials dating from 1922 to 1971. The collection includes biographical material, personal and professional correspondence, four diaries, 22 notebooks and notes on theoretical color and compositional approaches to painting, published and draft copies of essays on art, miscellaneous printed material, and 132 sketchbooks and additional artwork.

Biographical material consists of a copy of Knaths's curriculum vitae, a press release, and miscellaneous personal financial records.

Correspondence in the collection documents Knaths's relationships with family, friends, and business associates after his move to Provincetown, Massachusetts in 1919. Notable correspondents include Duncan and Marjorie Phillips, artist Joseph Meierhans, and the gallery Paul Rosenberg and Co.

The papers include three of Knaths's personal diaries (1916-1919, 1948) and a diary written by F.A. Mehler in 1890. Additional writings include lecture notes from classes that Knaths both attended and taught; 22 notebooks that explore his interest in articulating a color and compositional theory of painting; loose notes on various artists, projects, and facets of painting; several of his completed essays on art, including "Decorative Material" and "Pictorial Analysis;" and a draft of his unpublished manuscript "Ornament and Glory." Writings by others include 15 lecture transcripts from courses taught by Hans Hofmann during the 1930s, Knaths's translations of essays by Piet Mondrian, Kazimir Malevitch, and Carl Einstein, and a biographical essay on Karl Knaths by Paul Mocsanyi.

Printed materials in the collection include clippings, exhibition catalogs, and programs related to Knaths's one-man exhibitions and group shows, and the books Syracuse University Centennial Collection of Art (1970) and Karl Knaths: Five Decades of Painting (1973).

The bulk of the collection consists of 132 sketchbooks and additional artwork. Sketchbooks date from the 1920s to the 1970s and document Knaths's early figurative and landscape studies and later explorations of cubist style and compositional experiments with color, line, and form. Additional artwork includes numerous color charts and diagrams that Knaths kept to inform his painting color palette; outlines of compositional works on both graphed and regular paper; loose pencil sketches and pastels of figures, landscapes, and compositional experiments; and finished paintings and prints.
Arrangement note:
The collection is arranged as 6 series:

Series 1: Biographical Material, circa 1950s-1971 (Box 1, 8; 6 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1923-1971 (Box 1; .5 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, 1890, 1916-1968 (Boxes 1-3, 8, OV 14, OV 19; 2 linear feet)

Series 4: Printed Material, circa 1920s-1973 (Box 3, OV 19; 10 folders)

Series 5: Sketchbooks, circa 1920s-1970s (Boxes 3-6, 9-13; 4.5 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, circa 1920s-1970s (Box 6, 13, OV 15-18, OV 20-22; 1.8 linear feet)
Biographical/Historical note:
Karl Knaths (1891-1971), born Otto G. Knaths, lived and worked in Provincetown, Massachusetts and was known for his cubist style of painting.

Knaths was born in Eau Claire, Wisconsin and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago in his early twenties. The 1913 Armory Show provided his first major encounter with modernist art styles and the works of Paul Cezanne and Vincent Van Gogh. In 1919, Knaths moved to Provincetown and began to explore cubist perspectives in his own work, which drew much of its inspiration from the fishing culture and landscapes of his Cape Cod environs. Intellectually curious and drawn to art theory, Knaths recorded his thoughts on composition rules, color classifications, and the potential intersections between music, space, and color theory in notebooks, notes, and sketchbooks throughout his career.

The patronage of art collector Duncan Phillips led to Knaths's first one-man show at the Phillips Collection in 1929. The following year, he landed a solo show at New York's Daniel Gallery. Knaths joined the Works Progress Administration in 1934 and painted murals and other works for a year and a half. From 1938 to 1950, he also taught painting and art theory during a six week course held at the Phillips Art School, and was a guest lecturer at Black Mountain College, North Carolina (1944) and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine (1948). From 1945 to 1971, he was represented by the art gallery Paul Rosenberg and Co. Knaths died in 1971 in his home in Provincetown, at the age of 80.
Related Archival Materials note:
The Archives of American Art holds one oral history interview with Karl Knaths conducted by Dorothy Seckler in 1962; a transcript of a 1968 lecture delivered by Knaths at the Provincetown Art Association in Provincetown, Massachusetts; and a 1955 video recording documenting Knaths's Cape Cod influenced artwork, directed by Jack Calderwood.
Separated Materials:
The Archives of American Art also holds material lent for microfilming (reel D81) including one sketchbook. Lent materials were returned to the lender and are not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
In 1962, Karl Knaths lent the Archives of American Art a sketchbook and a selection of papers for microfilming. Upon Knath's death in 1972, these papers, excluding the sketchbook, along with additional materials, were willed to the Archives. His executor, Kenneth Desmarais, donated additional material from Knaths's estate in 1977 and 1980.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- Massachusetts -- Cape Cod  Search this
Topic:
Painting -- Study and teaching  Search this
Painting -- Technique  Search this
Cubism  Search this
Art -- Technique  Search this
Color in art  Search this
Art -- Study and teaching  Search this
Genre/Form:
Diaries
Sketchbooks
Paintings
Manuscripts
Prints
Sketches
Transcripts
Citation:
Karl Knaths papers, 1890-1973, bulk 1922-1971. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.knatkarp
See more items in:
Karl Knaths papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-knatkarp
Online Media:

Institute of Contemporary Arts records

Creator:
Institute of Contemporary Arts (Washington, D.C.)  Search this
Names:
Meridian House Foundation  Search this
People-to-People (Organization)  Search this
United States. Veterans Administration  Search this
Albers, Anni  Search this
Albers, Josef  Search this
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Copland, Aaron, 1900-1990  Search this
Cummings, E. E. (Edward Estlin), 1894-1962  Search this
Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965  Search this
Fangor, Wojciech, 1922-  Search this
Gabo, Naum, 1890-1977  Search this
Giampietro, Alexander  Search this
Gordimer, Nadine  Search this
Graves, Robert, 1895-1985  Search this
Gropius, Walter, 1883-1969  Search this
Hawkins, Erick  Search this
Huxley, Aldous, 1894-1963  Search this
Jahn, Janheinz  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Raine, Kathleen, 1908-2003  Search this
Read, Herbert Edward, Sir, 1893-1968  Search this
Richman, Robert  Search this
Richter, Hans, 1888-1976  Search this
Sage, Kay  Search this
Tanguy, Yves, 1900-1955  Search this
Williams, William Carlos, 1883-1963  Search this
Extent:
36 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Scrapbooks
Photographs
School records
Date:
1927-circa 1985
bulk 1947-1967
Summary:
The records of the Washington, D.C. arts and educational organization, Institute of Contemporary Arts, measure 36 linear feet and date from 1927-circa 1985, with the bulk of the material spanning the organization's active years, 1947-1967. The collection documents the arts and cultural programming organized by the ICA through correspondence, artists' files, program and exhibition files, administrative and financial records, printed materials and photographs. Also found are administrative, student, and teacher records of the ICA school; records of the Fine Arts Committee of the People-to-People Project; and some personal papers of the ICA's founder, Robert Richman.
Scope and Contents:
The records of the Washington, D.C. arts and educational organization, Institute of Contemporary Arts, measure 36 linear feet and date from 1927-circa 1985, with the bulk of the material spanning the organization's active years, 1947-1967. The collection documents the arts and cultural programming organized by the ICA through correspondence, artists' files, program and exhibition files, administrative and financial records, printed materials and photographs. Also found are administrative, student, and teacher records of the ICA school; records of the Fine Arts Committee of the People-to-People Project; and some personal papers of the ICA's founder, Robert Richman.

Robert Richman's professional and personal relationships with numerous artists and writers which the ICA hosted in D.C. are documented in Correspondence and Artists' Files. Correspondence files include letters from Joseph and Anni Albers, Alfred Barr, e.e. cummings, Alexander Giampietro, Naum Gabo, Walter Gropius, Erick Hawkins, Duncan Phillips, Hans Richter, Kay Sage and Yves Tanguy, and William Carlos Williams. Also found is correspondence with benefactors, board members, and arts organizations regarding exhibitions and administrative details; and with teachers and the Veteran's Administration regarding school issues.

Artists' Files contains mostly incoming and outgoing correspondence, but also found are biographies, exhibition printed materials, handwritten notes, newspaper clippings and scattered portrait photographs. Of interest are files on Aaron Copland, e.e. cummings, T.S. Eliot, Wojciech Fangor, Nadine Gordimer, Robert Graves, Aldous Huxley, Janheinz Jahn, Kathleen Raine, and Sir Herbert Read.

In addition to Correspondence and Artists' Files, materials regarding ICA's programming, such as correspondence with artists and galleries, press releases, shipping records, financial records, printed materials, photographs, inventory and price lists, are found in ICA Program Files.

The ICA and Robert Richman collaborated with numerous arts and international exchange organizations to organize exhibitions, performances, symposium, and to host visiting artists. Materials regarding such collaborations are found in Organizations and includes correspondence, scattered financial records, notes, and printed materials such as bulletins, brochures, schedules, reports, and press releases. This series also includes substantial material related to the Fine Arts Committee of the People-to-People Program, an international exchange initiative of President Dwight D. Eisenhower begun in 1956.

The school's records include correspondence, notebooks (attendance books), teacher files documenting classes and grades, extensive student files and student enrollment cards, mailing lists, class cards, and notes for classes taught by Robert Richman.

Administrative and Financial Files include accounting and banking records, budgets, founding documents, fundraising records, grants records, mailing lists, membership lists, and Meridian House Foundation records.

ICA's programs are also documented by comprehensive printed materials arranged by ICA seasons, 1947-1967. Printed materials include program calendars, exhibition announcements, invitations, membership forms, and press releases. Also found are newspaper clippings and three oversized clippings scrapbooks.

Photographs include black and white photographs and negatives of people, most of whom are unidentified. Robert Richman's personal papers includes personal correspondence, correspondence related to "New Republic," handwritten and typed writings, some bills, and his curriculum vitae.

Unrepresented in this collection are records of ICA's ICONART Collection (Contemporary Arts Archives), an archive of films and tapes of artists' performances, lectures and events held by ICA.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series.

Series 1: Correspondence, 1937, 1944-1980 (2.7 linear feet; Boxes 1-3)

Series 2: Artists' Files, 1943-1967, 1970-1979 (4.9 linear feet; Boxes 3-8)

Series 3: ICA Program Files, circa 1947-1968 (5.2 linear feet; Boxes 8-13, 27)

Series 4: Organizations, 1927, 1940s-1967 (7.3 linear feet; Boxes 13-20, OV 39)

Series 5: ICA School Files, 1945-1953 (7.0 linear feet; Boxes 21-27)

Series 6: Administrative and Financial Files, 1945-1979, 1983 (5.2 linear feet; Boxes 28-33, 38)

Series 7: Printed Materials, 1945-1970 (2.9 linear feet; Boxes 33-35, 38)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1930s-1960s, circa 1985 (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 35-36)

Series 9: Personal Papers of Robert Richman, 1940s-1980 (0.4 linear feet; Boxes 36-37)
Biographical / Historical:
The Washington, D.C. arts and educational organization, Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), was founded by poet Robert Richman in 1947 to bring arts and culture to the nation's capital. The school, originally named the King-Smith School of Creative Arts, was redesigned and renamed Institute of Contemporary Arts by Richman in 1948. The school's philosophy was based on Sir Herbert Read's Education Through Art, and provided professional training in painting, sculpture, literature, music, and theater. In addition, the ICA operated an evening school and brought prominent artists and literary figures to the nation's capital for exhibitions, concerts, workshops, lectures, readings, and performances. Teachers at the school included potter Alexander Giampietro, sculptor David Aaron, designers Beatrice Takeuchi and Hubert Leckie, and painter Kenneth Noland.

The school closed in August 1951, but the ICA continued to provide an impressive roster of programs and performances held at the Corcoran Gallery of Art and other D.C. institutions, such as exhibitions by Naum Gabo, Bernard Leach, Isamu Noguchi, and Hans Richter; readings by W.H. Auden, T.S. Eliot, Katherine Anne Porter, and Dylan Thomas; lectures by Charles Eames, Aldous Huxley, Octavio Paz, and Frank Lloyd Wright; and performances by Aaron Copland, Paul Hindemith, José Limón Dance Company, and Ravi Shankar. The organization also sponsored visiting professorships for international artists and writers, such as Nadine Gordimer, and hosted an annual Congress of Artists and Writers from 1959-1964.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the ICA was successful in securing some large grants to continue and expand its programming and to secure permanent space at the Meridian House Foundation. However, by the late 1960s the organization's programming declined.

ICA founder Robert Richman was a poet and literary editor at New Republic magazine in the early 1950s. He was active in the arts community in D.C. and in international exchange organizations, including the Fine Arts Committee of the People-to-People Project, an initiative started by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the late 1950s. Robert Richman passed away in 1987.
Provenance:
The Institute of Contemporary Arts records were donated by Maida Richman, the wife of the ICA's founder, Robert Richman, in 1986.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Art -- Societies, etc. -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Photographs
School records
Citation:
Institute of Contemporary Arts records, 1927-circa 1985, bulk 1947-1967. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.instcona
See more items in:
Institute of Contemporary Arts records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-instcona
Online Media:

Lee Gatch [essay] to Duncan Phillips : typescript

Creator:
Gatch, Lee, 1902-1968  Search this
Names:
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Extent:
2 Items ((7 p. on partial microfilm reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1949
Scope and Contents:
An essay by Gatch musing on his artistic development and technique. A duplication of the essay [on Grace Borgenicht Gallery stationary] accompanies the typescript sent Phillips.
Biographical / Historical:
Lee Gatch was a painter; New York, N.Y. Duncan Phillips was an art patron and collector, and founder of the Phillips Collection, the first gallery of modern art in America; Washington, D.C.
Provenance:
Transfered 1986 from the National Museum of American Art to the Archives of American Art.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C., Research Center. Microfilmed materials must be consulted on microfilm. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Painting, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.gatcleee
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-gatcleee

Arnold Friedman papers

Creator:
Friedman, Arnold, 1874-1946  Search this
Zabriskie Gallery  Search this
Names:
Barr, Alfred H., Jr., 1902-1981  Search this
Osborn, Robert Chesley, 1904-1994  Search this
Pach, Walter, 1883-1958  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Saint-Gaudens, Homer, b. 1880  Search this
Extent:
0.2 Linear feet ((177 items))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
[ca. 1910-1984]
Scope and Contents:
Letters, undated and 1933-1946, from Albany Institute of History and Art, Art Institute of Chicago, Alfred Barr, Cincinnati Art Museum, Robert W. Leeds, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Robert C. Osborn, Duncan Phillips, Homer Saint-Gaudens, Edward B. Rowan and Edward Bruce, Treasury Section of Fine Arts, and others.
Also includes a citation, 1945, for meritorious service rendered in the U.S. Treasury Department's Seventh War Loan; letters to Friedman's widow, Renee, 1946-1949 and 1961, from Walter Pach, Robert C. Osborn, and others; a photocopy of the decision of the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court regarding the ownership of 305 works by Friedman, 1977; exhibition catalogs and announcements, undated and ca. 1925-1983; clippings, press releases and Zabriskie Gallery newsletters, 1940-1984; photographs of Friedman, his family and friends, undated and ca. 1910-1913; and miscellany.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter; New York, N.Y. Birthdate also given as 1872, 1879, and 1882.
Provenance:
Donated 1984 by Elizabeth Friedman, daughter of Arnold Friedman.
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 -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.friearno
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-friearno

Pietro Lazzari papers

Creator:
Lazzari, Pietro, 1898-1979  Search this
Names:
Apollo 17 (Spacecraft)  Search this
Onassis, Jacqueline Kennedy, 1929-1994  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962  Search this
Rust, John D.  Search this
Stevenson, Adlai E. (Adlai Ewing), 1900-1965  Search this
Thomas, Norman, 1884-1968  Search this
Extent:
12.84 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Prints
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Motion pictures (visual works)
Paintings
Date:
1878-1998
Summary:
The papers of muralist and sculptor, Pietro Lazzari, measure 12.84 linear feet and date from 1878 to 1998. The papers document Lazzari's life and career through biographical material, correspondence, business records, notes, writings, artwork, photographs, and printed material.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of muralist and sculptor, Pietro Lazzari, measure 12.84 linear feet and date from 1878 to 1998. The collection documents Lazzari's life and career through biographical material, correspondence, business records, notes, writings, artwork, photographs, and printed material.

Biographical material includes biographical sketches and various identification documents. Correspondence comprises letters exchanged between Lazzari, family members, and colleagues and includes about a hundred letters concerning post office murals in several states.

Notebooks contain drawings and annotated diagrams in addition to notes on artwork and designs for inventions. Writings are both by and about Lazzari and include autobiographical material. Artwork includes sketchbooks, loose sketches, prints, and paintings.

Almost a quarter of the collection consists of photographs which include images of Lazzari, his family and colleagues, and gallery installations. Also found are photographs of several notable individuals.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as ten series according to material type. For each series, material within folders is arranged chronologically. Glass plate negatives are housed separately and closed to researchers.

Series 1: Biographical Material, 1880-1980 (box 1; 4 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, 1895-1998, undated (boxes 1-2; 1.7 linear ft.)

Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1925-1993, undated (box 2; 0.4 linear ft.)

Series 4: Notes, 1915-1979, undated (boxes 3, 13, OV 14; 1 linear ft.)

Series 5: Writings, 1910-1979, undated (box 4, 13; 0.4 linear ft.)

Series 6: Artwork, 1918-1979, undated (boxes 4-5, 13, OV 14; 0.9 linear ft.)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1905-1994, undated (boxes 5-8, 13, OV 14; 3.8 linear ft.)

Series 8: Photographs, 1878-1980, undated (boxes 8-13, MGP 1, MGP 4; 3.8 linear ft.)

Series 9: Motion Picture Film, undated (FC 15; 1 film can)

Series 10: Artifact, undated (box 12; 1 folder)
Biographical Note:
Pietro Lazzari was born in Rome, on May 15, 1898. At the age of 15, he was apprenticed to Roman sculptor, Jerace. Four years on the Italian front in World War I interrupted his studies, until he could return to the Ornamental School of Rome, where he received a Master Artist degree in 1922. Lazzari's first solo exhibition was at the Theatre of the Independents in Rome. He was also employed by newspaper Il Messaggero to illustrate articles with athletes' portraits.

Lazzari visited the United States in 1925, exhibiting in a group show at the New Gallery in the New York the following year. He also married American social worker Elizabeth Paine in 1926. After four more trips between the United States and Italy, he permanently settled in New York City in 1929. In addition to participating in major art exhibitions, he was hired by a New York newspaper to make courtroom sketches at the Lindbergh kidnapping trial. Divorcing his first wife in 1932, Lazzari married Evelyn Cohen in 1934, and became a U.S. citizen in 1936. Between 1936 and 1942, he worked on four post office murals for the U.S. Section of Fine Arts and began experimentation that led to his own method of painting in polychrome concrete.

In 1942, Lazzari moved to Washington, D.C. and participated in the war effort. He also taught painting and sculpture at The American University, and from 1948 to 1950, he headed the Art Department at Dumbarton College. In 1950, he received a Fulbright Fellowship for research in techniques of Etruscan Art.

Lazzari is known for his bronze busts of humanitarians, most notably Pope Paul VI, Adlai Stevenson, and Eleanor Roosevelt. Represented by the Betty Parsons Gallery in New York, he was also very active in the Washngton, D.C. art community, where he was represented by the Caresse Crosby Gallery.

Pietro Lazzari died on May 1, 1979 in Bethesda, Maryland.
Related Material:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is one sound tape reel of a transcribed interview with Pietro Lazzari, conducted by Harlan Phillips in 1964.
Provenance:
The Pietro Lazzari papers were donated to the Archives of American Art in 1989 by Evelyn C. Lazzari, widow of Pietro Lazzari, and in 1998 by her estate.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Topic:
Portrait sculpture, American -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Muralists -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Sculpture, American -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Sculptors -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Prints
Sketchbooks
Photographs
Slides (photographs)
Motion pictures (visual works)
Paintings
Citation:
Pietro Lazzari papers, 1878-1998. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.lazzpiet
See more items in:
Pietro Lazzari papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-lazzpiet
Online Media:

Rockwell Kent papers

Creator:
Kent, Rockwell, 1882-1971  Search this
Names:
American Artists' Congress  Search this
Artists League of America  Search this
Artists' Union (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Citizens' Committee for Government Arts Projects  Search this
Farmers Union of the New York Milk Shed  Search this
Federal Art Project  Search this
Federal Writers' Project  Search this
International Workers Order  Search this
Macbeth Gallery  Search this
National Farmers' Union (U.S.)  Search this
National Maritime Union of America  Search this
United American Artists  Search this
United Office and Professional Workers of America  Search this
United Scenic Artists  Search this
Boyesen, Bayard  Search this
Chamberlain, J. E.  Search this
Chase, William Merritt, 1849-1916  Search this
Cleland, T. M. (Thomas Maitland), 1880-1964  Search this
Daniel, Charles, 1878-1971  Search this
Davies, Arthur B. (Arthur Bowen), 1862-1928  Search this
DuBois, W.E.B. (William Edward Burghardt), 1868-1963  Search this
Fitzgerald, James, 1899-1971  Search this
Freuchen, Peter, 1886-1957  Search this
Gellert, Hugo, 1892-1985  Search this
Gottlieb, Harry, 1895-  Search this
Hartley, Marsden, 1877-1943  Search this
Hays, Lee, 1914-1981  Search this
Henri, Robert, 1865-1929  Search this
Jones, Dan Burne  Search this
Keller, Charles, 1914-2006  Search this
Miller, Kenneth Hayes, 1876-1952  Search this
Nearing, Helen  Search this
Nearing, Scott, 1883-1983  Search this
Pach, Walter, 1883-1958  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Rasmussen, Knud, 1879-1933  Search this
Reeves, Ruth, 1892-1966  Search this
Robeson, Paul, 1898-1976  Search this
Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945  Search this
Ruggles, Carl, 1876-1971  Search this
Seeger, Pete, 1919-2014  Search this
Stefansson, Vilhjalmur, 1879-1962  Search this
Untermeyer, Louis, 1885-1977  Search this
Wildenstein, Felix, 1883-1952  Search this
Zigrosser, Carl, 1891-  Search this
Extent:
88 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Poems
Sketches
Business records
Photographs
Drawings
Date:
circa 1840-1993
bulk 1935-1961
Summary:
The Rockwell Kent papers measure 88.0 linear feet and date from circa 1840 to 1993 with the bulk of the collection dating from 1935 to 1961. The collection provides comprehensive coverage of Kent's career as a painter, illustrator, designer, writer, lecturer, traveler, political activist, and dairy farmer.
Scope and Content Note:
The Rockwell Kent papers measure 88 linear feet and date from circa 1840 to 1993 with the bulk of the collection dating from 1935 to 1961. The collection provides comprehensive coverage of Kent's career as a painter, illustrator, designer, writer, lecturer, traveler, political activist, and dairy farmer.

Circumstances surrounding the acquisition of the papers are highlighted in an article by Garnett McCoy ("The Rockwell Kent Papers," in the Archives of American Art Journal, 12, no. 1 [January 1972]: 1-9), recommended reading for researchers interested in the collection. The collection is remarkably complete, for in the mid 1920s Kent began keeping carbon copies of all outgoing letters, eventually employing a secretary (who became his third wife and continued her office duties for the remainder of Kent's life).

Series 1: Alphabetical Files contain Kent's personal and professional correspondence, along with business records of the dairy farm and associated enterprises; also included are printed matter on a wide variety of topics and promotional literature relating to organizations and causes of interest to him. Voluminous correspondence with his three wives, five children, and other relatives, as well as with literally hundreds of friends, both lifelong and of brief duration, illuminates Kent's private life and contributes to understanding of his complex character. Among the many correspondents of note are: his art teachers William Merritt Chase, Robert Henri, and Kenneth Hayes Miller; fellow artists Tom Cleland, Arthur B. Davies, James Fitzgerald, Hugo Gellert, Harry Gottleib, Marsden Hartley, Charles Keller, and Ruth Reeves; collectors Duncan Phillips and Dan Burne Jones; critics J. E. Chamberlain and Walter Pach; and dealers Charles Daniel, Felix Wildenstein, and Macbeth Galleries. Kent corresponded with such diverse people as Arctic explorers Peter Freuchen, Knud Rasmussen, and Vilhjalmar Steffanson; composer Carl Ruggles and songwriters Lee Hays and Pete Seeger; civil rights pioneers Paul Robeson and Dr. W. E. B. Du Bois; writers Bayard Boyesen, Scott and Helen Nearing, and Louis Untermeyer; and art historian and print curator Carl Zigrosser.

Kent's interest and involvement in the labor movement are reflected in correspondence with officials and members of a wide variety and large number of unions and related organizations, among them: the Farmers' Educational and Cooperative Union of America, Farmers' Union of the New York Milk Shed, International Workers Order, National Maritime Union, and United Office and Professional Workers of America. Of special interest is his participation, often in leadership roles, in various attempts to organize artists. Files on the American Artists' Congress, Artists League of America, The Artists Union, United American Artists, and United Scenic Artists contain particularly valuable material on the movement.

A supporter of New Deal efforts to aid artists, Kent was actively interested in the various programs and often was critical of their limitations; he advocated continuing federal aid to artists after the Depression abated. The Kent papers include correspondence with the Federal Arts Project, Federal Fine Arts Project, Federal Writers Project, and the War Department, as well as correspondence with the Citizens' Committee for Government Art Projects and President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the subject.

Kent's professional correspondence documents exhibitions, sales, consignments, and reproduction of prints and paintings. He kept meticulous records of his advertising commissions and illustration work. Detailed correspondence with publishers and printers indicates Kent's involvement in the technical aspects of production and provides a good overview of the publishing industry during the mid-twentieth century.

Business records of Asgaard Farm include records of the dairy and transfer of ownership to its employees, tax and employee information, and documents concerning several related business ventures such as distributor ships for grain, feed, and farm implements.

Series 2: Writings consists of notes, drafts, and completed manuscripts by Rockwell Kent, mainly articles, statements, speeches, poems, introductions, and reviews. The Kent Collection given to Friendship House, Moscow, in 1960, was augmented later by a set of his publications and the illustrated manuscripts of many of his monographs. Also included are a small number of manuscripts by other authors.

Series 3: Artwork consists mainly of drawings and sketches by Kent; also included are works on paper by other artists, many of whom are unidentified, and by children.

Series 4: Printed Matter consists of clippings, exhibition catalogs and announcements, brochures, broadsides, programs, and newsletters. These include items by and about Kent and his family, as well as articles written and/or illustrated by him, and reviews of his books. There is also material on a variety of subjects and causes of interest to him. Additional printed matter is included among the alphabetical files, mainly as attachments to correspondence.

Series 5: Miscellaneous includes biographical material, legal documents, and memorabilia. Artifacts received with papers include textile samples, a silk scarf, dinnerware, ice bucket, and rubber stamp, all featuring designs by Rockwell Kent. Also with this series are a variety of documents including a phrenological analysis of an ancestor, lists of supplies for expeditions, a hand-drawn map of an unidentified place, and technical notes regarding art materials and techniques.

Series 6: Photographs includes photographs of Kent, his family and friends, travel, and art number that over one thousand. Also included here are several albums of family and travel photographs.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into six series. Series 1 is arranged alphabetically. The arrangement of the remaining series is explained in each series description. Note that sealed materials that became available in 2000 were microfilmed separately on reels 5740-5741, but have integrated into this finding aid.

Series 1: Alphabetical Files, circa 1900-1971, undated (Reels 5153-5249, 5256, 5740-5741)

Series 2: Writings, 1906-1978, undated (Reels 5249-5252, 5741)

Series 3: Art Work, 1910-1972, undated (Reels 5252, 5741)

Series 4: Printed Matter, 1905-1993, undated (Reels 5252-5254)

Series 5: Miscellaneous, 1859-1969, undated (Reels 5254, 5741)

Series 6: Photographs, circa 1840-1970, undated (Reels 5254-5255, 5741)
Biographical Note:
Rockwell Kent (1882-1971), an energetic and multitalented man, pursued many interests and careers during his very long and active life. At various times he was an architect, draftsman, carpenter, unskilled laborer, painter, illustrator, printmaker, commercial artist, designer, traveler/explorer, writer, professional lecturer, dairy farmer, and political activist.

While studying architecture at Columbia University, Kent enrolled in William Merritt Chase's summer school at Shinnecock Hills, Long Island. He then redirected his career ambitions toward painting and continued to study with Chase in New York. Kent spent a summer working and living with Abbott H. Thayer in Dublin, New Hampshire, and attended the New York School of Art, where Robert Henri and Kenneth Hayes Miller were his teachers.

Critically and financially, Kent was a successful artist. He was very well known for his illustration work--particularly limited editions of the classics, bookplates, and Christmas cards. He was a prolific printmaker, and his prints and paintings were acquired by many major museums and private collectors. During the post-World War II era, Kent's political sympathies resulted in the loss of commissions, and his adherence to artistic conservatism and outspoken opposition to modern art led to disfavor within art circles. After many years of declining reputation in this country and unsuccessful attempts to find a home for the Kent Collection, Kent gave his unsold paintings--the majority of his oeuvre--to the Soviet Union, where he continued to be immensely popular.

An avid traveler, Kent was especially fascinated by remote, Arctic lands and often stayed for extended periods of time to paint, write, and become acquainted with the local inhabitants. Between 1918 and 1935, he wrote and illustrated several popular books about his experiences in Alaska, Tierra del Fuego, and Greenland. In the 1930s and 1940s, Kent was much in demand as a lecturer, making several nationwide tours under the management of a professional lecture bureau; he spoke mainly about his travels, but among his standard lectures were some on "art for the people."

In 1927, Kent purchased Asgaard Farm at AuSable Forks, New York, in the Adirondacks, where he lived for the remainder of his life, operating a modern dairy farm on a modest scale for many years.

As a young man, Kent met Rufus Weeks, became committed to social justice, and joined the Socialist Party. Throughout his life, he supported left-wing causes and was a member or officer of many organizations promoting world peace and harmonious relations with the Soviet Union, civil rights, civil liberties, antifascism, and organized labor. Kent was frequently featured as a celebrity sponsor or speaker at fund-raising events for these causes. In 1948, he ran unsuccessfully as the American Labor Party's candidate for Congress. Kent's unpopular political views eventually led to the dissolution of his dairy business, resulted in a summons to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee, and prompted the U.S. State Department to deny him a passport, an action that subsequently was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Kent wrote two autobiographies, This Is My Own (1940) and It's Me, O Lord (1955). In 1969, he was the subject of an oral history interview conducted by Paul Cummings for the Archives of American Art.

1882 -- born, Tarrytown, New York

1887 -- death of Rockwell Kent, Sr.

1894-1896 -- attended Cheshire Academy

1895 -- toured Europe with Aunt Jo

1896 -- attended Horace Mann School, New York City

1900-1902 -- studied architecture at Columbia University

1900-1902 -- attended William Merritt Chase's summer school, Shinnecock Hills, Long Island

1903 -- studied with William Merritt Chase, New York City

1904 -- first sale of a painting

1904 -- met Rufus Weeks and attended first Socialist meeting

1905 -- lived and worked with Abbott H. Thayer, Dublin, New Hampshire

1905 -- first painting trip to Monhegan Island, Maine

1907 -- first one-man show, Claussen Galleries, New York City

1908 -- marriage to Kathleen Whiting

1908 -- studied with Robert Henri

1908 -- joined Socialist Party

1909 -- birth of Rockwell, III

1910 -- ran Monhegan Summer School of Art

1910 -- first trip to Newfoundland

1910 -- helped to organize first Independent Exhibition

1911 -- birth of Kathleen

1912 -- moved to Winona, Minnesota

1913 -- birth of Clara

1914 -- settled in Newfoundland

1915 -- deported from Newfoundland

1915 -- birth of Barbara

1917 -- served as full-time organizer and administrator of Independent Exhibition

1918-1919 -- in Alaska with son Rocky

1919 -- purchased Egypt Farm, Arlington, Vermont

1919 -- incorporated self

1920 -- publication of Wilderness

1920 -- birth of Gordon

1922 -- traveled to Tierra del Fuego

1924 -- publication of Voyaging

1925 -- trip to France

1925 -- divorced from Kathleen

1926 -- marriage to Frances Lee

1926 -- traveled to Ireland

1927 -- purchased Asgaard Farm, AuSable, New York

1927 -- editor of Creative Art

1927 -- helped organize National Gallery of Contemporary Art, Washington, D.C.

1929 -- sailed to Greenland on Direction

1930 -- publication of N by E

1932-1933 -- returned to Greenland

1934-1935 -- final trip to Greenland

1935 -- publication of Salamina

1936 -- trip to Puerto Rico

1937 -- trip to Brazil

1937-1938 -- Post Office Department mural commission and controversy over Eskimo-language message interpreted as encouraging Puerto Rican independence

1939 -- divorced from Frances

1939 -- General Electric Co. mural commission for New York World's Fair

1940 -- publication of This Is My Own

1940 -- marriage to Shirley Johnstone (Sally)

1942 -- solo exhibition, Know and Defend America, at Wildenstein Galleries, New York City

1946 -- elected to Executive Committee of American Labor Party

1948 -- congressional candidate, American Labor Party

1948 -- transferred ownership of dairy to remaining employees after boycott resulting from support of Wallace for president

1949 -- attended World Congress for Peace, Paris

1950-1958 -- denied U.S. passport; lawsuit, appeals, and Supreme Court decision reinstating right to travel

1953 -- testified before House Un-American Activities Committee

1955 -- publication of It's Me, O Lord

1958 -- one-man show at Hermitage Museum, Leningrad

1959 -- publication of Of Men and Mountains

1960 -- gift of Kent Collection to Friendship House, Moscow

1960 -- exhibition at Pushkin Museum, Moscow

1963 -- publication of Greenland Journal

1966 -- elected to Academy of Arts of the USSR

1967 -- awarded Lenin Peace Prize, Moscow

1969 -- oral history interview, Archives of American Art

1969 -- home at Asgaard destroyed by fire; papers survived with some water and smoke damage

1969 -- first installment of Rockwell Kent Papers donated to Archives of American Art

1971 -- died, Plattsburgh, New York

1971 -- gift of additional Rockwell Kent Papers to Archives of American Art

1979 -- gift of textile samples to the Archives of American Art

1996 -- gift of additional Rockwell Kent Papers to Archives of American Art

2000 -- death of Sally [Shirley Johnstone] Kent Gorton

2000 -- previously sealed correspondence of wives Frances and Sally (Series 1) opened to researchers

2001 -- gift of additional Rockwell Kent papers to the Archives of American Art from the Estate of Sally Kent [Shirley Johnstone] Gorton
Provenance:
In 1969, Rockwell Kent donated his papers to the Archives of American Art; textile samples were received in 1979, and his widow gave additional papers in 1971 and 1996. Letters to Rockwell Kent from wives Frances and Sally, sealed during Sally Kent Gorton's lifetime, became available for research after her death in 2000, and further material was donated to the Archives of American Art in 2001 by the Estate of Sally Kent [Shirley Johnstone] Gorton.
Restrictions:
The microfilm of this collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website. Use of material not microfilmed or digitized requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Topic:
Designers -- New York (State)  Search this
Mural painting and decoration  Search this
Politics and culture  Search this
Authors -- New York  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- United States -- Political aspects  Search this
Dairy farms  Search this
Federal aid to the arts  Search this
Illustrators -- New York (State)  Search this
Illustration of books  Search this
Works of art  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Civilian relief  Search this
Labor unions  Search this
Art and war  Search this
Commercial art  Search this
World War, 1939-1945 -- Art and the war  Search this
Genre/Form:
Poems
Sketches
Business records
Photographs
Drawings
Citation:
Rockwell Kent papers, circa 1840-1993, bulk 1935-1961. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.kentrock
See more items in:
Rockwell Kent papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-kentrock
Online Media:

Arthur and Helen Torr Dove papers

Creator:
Dove, Arthur Garfield, 1880-1946  Search this
Names:
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Torr, Helen, 1886-1967  Search this
Extent:
3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Audiotapes
Photographs
Diaries
Sketches
Date:
1905-1975
Summary:
The papers of artists Arthur and Helen Torr Dove measure 3 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1975, with the bulk of material dating from 1920 to 1946. Arthur Dove's life as an artist, and his life with the artist Helen Torr, are documented in biographical narratives, personal documents, an audio recording, correspondence, diaries, essays, poetry, notes, exhibition catalogs, clippings, magazine illustrations, pamphlets, receipts, an accounting ledger, tax records, sketches, and photographs.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of Arthur and Helen Torr Dove measure 3 linear feet and date from 1905 to 1975, with the bulk of material dating from 1920 to 1946. Arthur Dove's life as an artist, and his life with the artist Helen Torr, are documented in biographical narratives, personal documents, an audio recording, correspondence, diaries, essays, poetry, notes, exhibition catalogs, clippings, magazine illustrations, pamphlets, receipts, an accounting ledger, tax records, sketches, and photographs.

Biographical Materials include a last will and testament, biographical narratives, and other official documents, as well as an audio recording of an interview with William Dove made around 1961 by George Wolfer. Correspondence includes letters from friends, clients, other artists, and Dove's patron Duncan Phillips. There is also correspondence with family members Helen Torr and Paul Dove. Drafts of outgoing letters from Dove to various correspondents including Phillips and Alfred Stieglitz are found.

Writings are extensive and include diaries, autobiographical essays, essays about art, artists, and other subjects, and poetry by Arthur Dove; as well as essays, reminiscences, and notes of Helen Torr. Printed Materials include exhibition catalogs for Dove's shows and the shows of other artists in the Stieglitz Circle, examples of Dove's early magazine illustration work, newspaper reviews of Dove's exhibitions, and various pamphlets related to modern art. Personal Business Records include an accounting ledger of the Doves' expenses, sales receipts, tax records, and an undated art inventory. Artwork consists of ten items, mostly sketches in pencil, watercolor, ink, and colored pencil. Photographs are undated and unidentified, but depict mostly family, homes, and coastal scenes.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged into 7 series:

Series 1: Biographical Materials, 1928-1937, circa 1961 (Box 1; 2 folders)

Series 2: Correspondence, circa 1920-1974 (Box 1; 0.8 linear feet)

Series 3: Writings, circa 1924-1945 (Boxes 1-3; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 4: Printed Materials, circa 1905-1975 (Box 3; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 5: Personal Business Records, circa 1921-1965 (Box 3; 0.3 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, undated (Box 3; 1 folder)

Series 7: Photographs, 1909, undated (Box 3; 4 folders)
Biographical Note:
Arthur Garfield Dove was an early twentieth-century painter, collagist, and illustrator who was one of the first American artists to embrace abstraction in art. He was a part of Alfred Stieglitz's Circle of modern American artists introduced at Stieglitz's 291 Gallery along with John Marin and Georgia O'Keeffe. Dove spent his career developing his own idiosyncratic style of formal abstraction in painting based on his ideas about nature, feeling, and pure form, and characterized by experimentation with color, composition, and materials.

Born in Canandiagua, NY in 1880, Dove grew up in the small, rural town of Geneva, NY. He was first exposed to art by a local farmer and painter named Newton Weatherly, who gave him canvas and paint, and who Dove himself cited as an early influence. Dove went to Cornell University to study law, but soon shifted to art and illustration. He graduated in 1903 and quickly became a success as a magazine illustrator, working for Collier's, McClure's, St. Nicholas, and The Illustrated Sporting News, among other publications. In 1904, he married Florence Dorsey, a Geneva woman, and they lived in New York City. Their son, William Dove, was born in 1910.

In 1908 the couple traveled to Paris to enable Dove to pursue his interest in painting. In Paris, he met Alfred Maurer, Jo Davidson, and other American artists living abroad. The influence of his European and expatriate contemporaries would prove to be a lasting one, exposing him to ideas about abstraction and experimentation that he would develop in his work for the rest of his life.

Soon after Dove's return to the United States, he met Alfred Stieglitz and began a lifelong friendship. Stieglitz ran the Little Galleries of the Photo-Secession, which came to be known as 291, in New York. His daring, avant-garde exhibitions of both European and American modern art at 291 provided a venue and gathering-place for progressive American artists that was unique for its time. Dove's first solo exhibition at 291 was held in 1912, and consisted of ten pastel drawings that have come to be known as the "Ten Commandments." The attention it received established Dove as a prominent abstract painter.

Around 1920, Dove met another Westport artist named Helen S. Torr, also known as Reds. A Philadelphia-born painter who had studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art, Reds was married at the time to the cartoonist Clive Weed. Torr and Dove eventually left their unhappy marriages and began a life together, moving to a houseboat docked in Manhattan. In 1922, they moved to Halesite, Long Island, New York, where Dove's artwork once again flourished. By the mid-1920s, he was exhibiting regularly, paralleled by the rise of Stieglitz's new Intimate Gallery in 1925. His work continued to explore abstraction and organic forms, and, in addition to paintings, he produced assemblages made of found materials.

Although a building teardown brought the Intimate Gallery to a sudden end in 1929, the financial support of friends enabled Alfred Stieglitz to open An American Place soon thereafter. There Stieglitz would focus on the work of a few American artists, including Dove, John Marin, and Georgia O'Keeffe. Helen Torr was also exhibited at An American Place, in a group show with Arthur in 1933. It was also at this gallery that the art collector Duncan Phillips was introduced to Dove's artwork. Phillips' interest in Dove grew into an ongoing patronage of Dove that would see them through the Depression and periods of serious illness in the 1930s and 1940s. Their arrangement, whereby Phillips had first refusal on all of Dove's new artwork, enabled him to gradually assemble the largest collection of Dove's work held anywhere.

In 1938, while on a trip to New York to attend his exhibition, Dove became suddenly ill. Although he recovered somewhat that year, his health never entirely returned to normal, and he spent long periods during what remained of his life housebound and in a wheelchair. He and Reds bought a home in Centreport, on Long Island, where they would stay the rest of his life. In 1939 he was so ill that neither his family nor Stieglitz thought he would ever paint again. Despite his physical limitations, he continued to work, turning to the less physically strenuous media of drawing and watercolor, and produced new work for five solo exhibitions in the 1940s. His work of this period embraces pure abstraction more fully than ever, and is regarded by some to be a culmination or crystallization of his singular style and approach to abstract painting.

Arthur Dove suffered a stroke in 1946 and died that November, just four months after his lifelong friend and mentor Alfred Stieglitz died of a heart attack. Reds lived until 1967 in their Centreport home. Dove's importance to American art has since been recognized with more than a dozen retrospective exhibitions at major museums and galleries.

This biography relied heavily on the monograph Arthur Dove: Life and Work, with a Catalogue Raisonné (1984) by Ann Lee Morgan.
Separated Material:
The Archives of American Art also holds microfilm of material lent for microfilming. Reel 725 contains Arthur Dove's letters from Alfred Stieglitz (1918-1946) and Georgia O'Keeffe (1921-1948), and two letters from William Einstein (1937). The original letters were later donated to the Beinecke Library at Yale University, which holds the Stieglitz/O'Keeffe Archives. Reel 2803 contains photocopies of Arthur Dove's card catalog of paintings that were discarded after microfilming. This material is not described in the collection container inventory.
Provenance:
The papers of Arthur and Helen Torr Dove were loaned to the Archives of American Art by Arthur Dove's son, William Dove, for microfilming in several increments between 1970 and 1975. The papers were later donated to the Archives by William Dove via the Terry Distenfass Gallery of New York City in multiple accessions between 1982 and 1989, with two major exceptions: 177 letters from Alfred Stieglitz, sixteen letters from Georgia O'Keeffe, and two letters from William Einstein; and Arthur Dove's card catalog of paintings, a photocopy of which had been loaned for microfilming. The papers were digitized in 2006.
Restrictions:
The collection is open for research. Microfilmed and digitized portions must be consulted on microfilm or the Archives website. Use of unmicrofilmed, undigitized portion requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Collagists -- New York (State)  Search this
Topic:
Women painters -- New York (State)  Search this
Works of art  Search this
Genre/Form:
Audiotapes
Photographs
Diaries
Sketches
Citation:
Arthur and Helen Torr Dove papers, 1905-1975. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.dovearth
See more items in:
Arthur and Helen Torr Dove papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-dovearth
Online Media:

Lee Gatch papers

Creator:
Gatch, Lee, 1902-1968  Search this
Names:
World House Galleries  Search this
Driggs, Elsie, 1898-1992  Search this
Kahn, Max  Search this
Kuh, Katharine  Search this
Mumford, Lewis, 1895-1990  Search this
Neumann, J. B. (Jsrael Ber)  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Willard, Marian, 1904-  Search this
Extent:
1 Linear foot ((partially microfilmed on 5 reels))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1925-1979
Scope and Contents:
Correspondence, notebooks, writings, photographs, catalogs and other publications.
REEL D160: Letters from Gatch's dealer J.B. Neumann, detailing his financial difficulties, Marian Willard of Willard Gallery, collector Duncan Phillips, who discusses a catalog he is writing on Gatch, and painter and collector Max Kahn; photographs of Gatch, ca. 1934; a commonplace book, 1925-1937, which also includes food recipes and an inventory of Gatch's paintings; clippings; and catalogs.
REEL NLG-1: Mainly correspondence with Phillip Bruno of World House Galleries concerning the pricing and delivery of paintings. Gatch comments specifically on "Veronica's Veil" and "Gothic Night." Also included are social notes from Elsie Driggs Gatch to Josephine Bruno, playbills from performances of Merriman Gatch, clippings, and photographs.
REEL N69-137: an autobiographical sketch; letters, 1934-1965, from Lewis Mumford, Katharine Kuh, and others, commending his work, from J.B. Neumann and Duncan Phillips, discussing sales of his painting, and from Max Kahn, commenting generally on art matters; brief essays by Gatch on his paintings "Jurassic Frieze" and "World's End," and the development of his painting; a book of poems inscribed by the author, Power Dalton; and catalogs.
REEL 1: Letters to Elsie Driggs, 1934-1935, commenting on his art theories, his plans for Yaddo, and his financial situation; an exchange between Gatch and Bruno, commenting on his use of texture; one letter from Duncan Phillips, discussing an article he is preparing on Gatch. Also, a typescript comment by Gatch on the aim of his art, a certificate from the New York Institute of Mechanics, 1941, and a National Institute of Arts and Letters citation, 1965.
REEL 2812: 36 photographs of Gatch, his homes, and studios, ca. 1927-1963; 3 exhibition catalogs; and a letter, February 8, 1979, from Robert J. Koenig to Merriman Gatch regarding "The Acrobats" by her father.
UNMICROFILMED: Photographs, printed material, several letters, a student notebook, and memorabilia.
Biographical / Historical:
Painter; New York, N.Y.
Provenance:
Donated 1963-1979 by Gatch and his wife Elsie Driggs Gatch, except for material on reel NLG-1, which was lent for microfilming, as well as portions of the unmicrofilmed material, which were donated 1971 by Mrs. Leonard Strauss (6 snapshots), who was working on a master's thesis on Gatch, and by Gatch's sister, Sister Mary Rachel Gatch (2 letters, and printed material).
Occupation:
Art dealers  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Topic:
Painting, Modern -- 20th century  Search this
Function:
Art galleries, Commercial -- New York (State) -- New York
Identifier:
AAA.gatcleep
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-gatcleep

Oral history interview with John Gernand

Interviewee:
Gernand, John, 1913-1990  Search this
Interviewer:
Haifley, Julia Link  Search this
Names:
Phillips Collection  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Extent:
4 Items (Sound recording: 4 sound files, digital, wav file)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
1979 Jan. 18-Feb. 14
Scope and Contents:
An interview of John Gernand conducted 1979 Jan. 18-Feb. 14, by Julia Haifley, for the Archives of American Art.
Gernand discusses growing up in Washington, D.C., working at the Phillips Collection for 40 years and recollections of Duncan Phillips, and the Washington art scene.
Biographical / Historical:
John Gernard (1913-1990) was a painter from Washington, D.C.
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.
Occupation:
Painters -- Washington (D.C.) -- Interviews  Search this
Topic:
Art, American -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Function:
Art museums -- Washington (D.C.)
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.gernan79
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-gernan79

James Britton papers

Creator:
Britton, James, 1878-1936  Search this
Names:
Arlington Galleries (New York, N.Y.)  Search this
Kelly, Andrew J.  Search this
Kent, Duncan Scott  Search this
Mitchell, Edwin Valentine, 1890-1960  Search this
Vonnoh, Robert William, 1858-1933  Search this
Blackfield  Search this
Fiske, Gertrude, 1878-1961  Search this
Higgins, Eugene, 1874-1958  Search this
Inukai, Kyohei, 1913-  Search this
Phillips, Duncan, 1886-1966  Search this
Prendergast, Maurice Brazil, 1858-1924  Search this
Stieglitz, Alfred, 1864-1946  Search this
Vose, Robert C. (Robert Churchill), 1911-1998  Search this
Extent:
4.3 Linear feet
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Photographs
Illustrations
Notebooks
Diaries
Prints
Sketches
Drafts
Date:
circa 1905-1984
bulk 1905-1935
Summary:
The papers of painter and writer James Britton measure 4.3 linear feet and date from circa 1905-1984, with the bulk of the material dating from circa 1905-1935. The bulk of the papers consist of 49 diaries dating from 1918-1935, plus notebooks of diary excerpts, that chronicle Britton's daily activities and include lists, illustrations, and drafts of correspondence. Additional papers include biographical information compiled by the Britton family; scattered business and financial records; correspondence, including copies of Britton's letters to the editors of the Hartford Courant and the Hartford Times; additional writings and notes that include drafts and manuscripts of an autobiography, drafts of articles for his publication Art Opus, and other writings; sketches and a woodcut print; printed materials, including clippings of his published writings for Art Review International, Book Notes, and Opus; and one photograph of Britton and of works of art.

There is a 1.4 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated 2020 that includes correspondence, writings by Britton about art, printed material (some annotated ), lists of works of art by Britton and others, and sketches by Britton.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of painter and writer James Britton measure 4.3 linear feet and date from circa 1905-1984, with the bulk of the material dating from circa 1905-1935. The bulk of the papers consist of 49 diaries dating from 1918-1935, plus notebooks of diary excerpts, that chronicle Britton's daily activities and include lists, illustrations, and drafts of correspondence. Additional papers include biographical information compiled by the Britton family; scattered business and financial records; correspondence, including copies of Britton's letters to the editors of the Hartford Courant and the Hartford Times; additional writings and notes that include drafts and manuscripts of an autobiography, drafts of articles for his publication Art Opus, and other writings; sketches and a woodcut print; printed materials, including clippings of his published writings for Art Review International, Book Notes, and Opus; and one photograph of Britton and of works of art.

Biographical information consists of a file of photocopied materials prepared by the Britton Family. Scattered business and financial records include papers relating to Britton's auto accident, indexes of letters, illustrated indexes and lists of works of art, miscellaneous invoices and receipts, and file relating to Arlington Gallery.

Nine folders of correspondence include letters written to and by Britton along with posthumus materials to his widow, Caroline Britton. Correspondents include artists and friends Gertrude Fiske, Eugene Higgins, Kyonei Inukai, Andrew Kelly, Dewitt McClellan Lockman, Edwin Valentine Mitchell, Maurice Prendergast, Duncan Phillips, Alfred Stieglitz, Robert Vonnoh, and Robert C. Vose.

The bulk of the Britton papers consist of his extensive diaries - 49 volumes, plus notebooks of excerpts and detailed indexes. The diaries date from 1918-1935 and details Britton's daily activities and observations about art figures active in New York and Connecticut, classical music, the Great Depression, Prohibition, the Catholic Church, and politics. In addition, Britton talks of his relationships with his wife and children. The diaries served as a place for Britton to make lists of works of art, portrait subjects, potential clients, etc. Britton also created "Notebooks of Diary Excerpts" and a detailed index of many of the diaries.

Additional writings and notes include a handwritten and incomplete typescript of an autobiography, writings for Britton's publication Opus, and miscellaneous writings about art, music and plays. Writings by others include works by Duncan Scott Kent and Blackfield.

Artwork includes a print and sketches by Britton, and children's drawings.

Printed materials include issues of Britton's Art Review International, Opus, and other publications for which he wrote articles or provided illustration, clippings, exhibition catalogs, and programs.

Photographs include one photo of the artist with a painting and photos of works of art.

There is a 1.4 linear foot unprocessed addition to this collection donated 2020 that includes correspondence, writings by Britton about art, printed material (some annotated ), lists of works of art by Britton and others, and sketches by Britton.
Arrangement:
The collection is arranged as 9 series:

Series 1: Biographical Information, 1970-1984 (Box 1; 1 folder)

Series 2: Business and Financial records, 1919-1933 (Box 1; 7 folders)

Series 3: Correspondence, 1913-1945 (Box 1; 9 folders)

Series 4: Diaries, 1918-1935 (Box 1-2; 1.5 linear feet)

Series 5: Writings and Notes, circa 1910s-1931 (Box 2-3; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 6: Artwork, circa 1920-1929 (Box 3; 5 folders)

Series 7: Printed Material, 1910-1982 (Box 4; 0.4 linear feet)

Series 8: Photographs, circa 1905-1930s (Box 4, OV 5; 3 folders)

Series 9: Unprocessed Addition, circa 1920-1934 (Boxes 6-7; 1.4 linear feet)
Biographical Note:
James Britton (1878-1936) was a portrait painter and writer active in Connecticut and New York. Britton wrote extensively about American art and artists and was the editor of his own publications Art Review International and Opus. Also, he was a member of the group of New York painters and sculptors known as The Eclectics.

Born in Hartford, Connecticut in 1878, James Britton began his career as an apprentice working under August Jaccaci at Scribner's Magazine in 1895. He studied under George de Forest Brush at the Art Students' League and under Walter Griffin and Charles Noel Flagg in Hartford. He exhibited and worked with many of the American artists associated with the Ash Can school and The Eclectics, a group of New York artists that included Theresa Bernstein, Guy Pene du Bois, Walter Griffin, Philip L. Hale, Eugene Higgins, George Luks, Jane Peterson, Maurice Prendergast, and Mahonri Young. Mainly, Britton worked as a portrait painter but produced many landscapes of Sag Harbor, Long Island, and of his homes in Connecticut. He was a founding member of the New Society of American Artists and the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts. He exhibited at numerous New York City galleries including Ainslie Galleries, Arlington Galleries, Babcock Galleries, Dudensing Galleries, Folsom Galleries, and at the studio of sculptor Marie Apel.

A prolific writer on American art and artists, as well as an illustrator, Britton worked as staff artist for the Hartford Times and as an art critic for American Art News and the Hartford Courant. He also founded and edited Art Review International and Opus. Two of his published books include Copley, Painter of the Revolution and Artists of America. Britton was also interested in classical music and wrote on composers Haydn and Beethoven. Britton's extensive diaries found within his papers chronicle his daily life and commentary.

In 1914, Britton married Caroline Korner and settled mostly in Connecticut. They had three children, Jerome, Teresa, and Ruth. In 1928, a car struck Britton and left him disabled. Although he continued to paint, he suffered from ill-health as a result of the accident. He died in 1936.

James Britton's works are represented at the Wadsworth Atheneum, Mark Twain Memorial, Manchester Public Library and at St. Joseph's College.
Provenance:
Donated 1985 and 2020 by Barbara and Ursula Roberts Britton, granddaughters of James Britton.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Art critics  Search this
Topic:
Authors -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Painters -- New York (State) -- New York -- Diaries  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- New York (State) -- New York  Search this
Art, Modern -- 20th century -- Connecticut  Search this
Genre/Form:
Photographs
Illustrations
Notebooks
Diaries
Prints
Sketches
Drafts
Citation:
James Britton papers, circa 1905-1984, bulk circa 1905-1935. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.britjame
See more items in:
James Britton papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-britjame
Online Media:

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