The papers of art historian, dealer, critic, and curator Katharine Kuh measure 12 linear feet and date from 1875-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930-1994. The collection documents Kuh's career as a pioneer modernist art historian and as the first woman curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; personal business records; artwork by various artists; a travel journal; writings by Kuh and others; scrapbooks; printed material; photographs of Kuh and others; and audio recordings of Kuh's lectures and of Daniel Catton Rich reading poetry.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of art historian, dealer, critic, and curator Katharine Kuh measure 12 linear feet and date from 1875-1994, with the bulk of the material dating from 1930-1994. Found within the papers are biographical material; correspondence with family, friends and colleagues; personal business records; artwork by various artists; a travel journal; writings by Kuh and others; scrapbooks; printed material; photographs of Kuh and others; and audio recordings of Kuh's lectures and of Daniel Catton Rich reading poetry.
Biographical material consists of copies of Kuh's birth certificate, resumés, passports, award certificates, honorary diplomas, and address books listing information about several prominent artists and colleagues.
Four linear feet of correspondence offers excellent documentation of Kuh's interest in art history, her travels, her career at the Art Institute of Chicago, her work as a corporate art advisor, and as an author. There are letters from her mother Olga Woolf, friends, and colleagues. There is extensive correspondence with various staff members of the Art Institute of Chicago, the First National Bank of Chicago, and The Saturday Review. Also of interest are letters from artists and collectors, several of whom became life-long friends including Walter and Louise Arensberg, Cosmo Campoli, Serge Chermayeff, Richard Cox, Worden Day, Claire Falkenstein, Fred Friendly, Leon Golub, Joseph Goto, David Hare, Denise Brown Hare, Jean Hélion, Ray Johnson, Gyorgy and Juliet Kepes, Len Lye, Wallace Putnam, Kurt Seligmann, Shelby Shackelford, Hedda Sterne, and Clyfford Still. Many letters are illustrated with original artwork in various media.
There are also scattered letters from various artists and other prominent individuals including Josef Albers, George Biddle, Marcel Breuer, Joseph Cornell, Stuart Davis, Edwin Dickinson, Joseph Hirshhorn, Daniel Catton Rich, and Dorothea Tanning.
Personal business records include a list of artwork, Olga Woolf's will, inventories of Kuh's personal art collection, miscellaneous contracts and deeds of gift, receipts for the sale of artwork, files concerning business-related travel, and miscellaneous receipts.
Artwork in the collection represents a wide range of artist friends and media, such as drawings, watercolors, paintings, collages, and prints. Included are works by various artists including lithographs by David Hare and a watercolor set, Technics and Creativity, designed and autographed by Jasper Johns for the Museum of Modern Art, 1970.
Notes and writings include annotated engagement calendars, travel journals for Germany, a guest book for the Kuh Memorial gathering, and many writings and notes by Kuh for lectures and articles concerning art history topics. Of interest are minutes/notes from meetings for art festivals, conferences, and the "Conversations with Artists Program (1961). Also found are writings by others about Kuh and other art history topics.
Six scrapbooks contain clippings that document the height of Kuh's career as a gallery director and museum curator. Scrapbook 6 contains clippings about Fernand Léger, the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago in 1953.
Additional printed material includes clippings about Kuh and her interests, a comprehensive collection of clippings of Kuh's articles for The Saturday Review, exhibition announcements and catalogs, calendars of events, programs, brochures, books including Poems by Kuh as a child, and reproductions of artwork. Of particular interest are the early and exhibition catalogs from the Katharine Kuh Gallery, and rare catalogs for artists including Jean Arp, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Jean Dubuffet, Marcel Duchamp, Stanley William Hayter, Hans Hofmann, Wassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Franz Kline, Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Pablo Picasso.
Photographs provide important documentation of the life and career of Katharine Kuh and are of Kuh, family members, friends, colleagues, events, residences, and artwork. Several of the photographs of Kuh were taken by Will Barnet and Marcel Breuer and there is a notable pair of photo booth portraits of Kuh and a young Ansel Adams. There are also group photographs showing Angelica Archipenko with Kuh; designer Klaus Grabe; painters José Chavez Morado and Pablo O'Higgins in San Miguel, Mexico; Kuh at the Venice Biennale with friends and colleagues including Peggy Guggenheim, Frances Perkins, Daniel Catton Rich, and Harry Winston; and "The Pre-Depressionists" including Lorser Feitelson, Robert Inverarity, Helen Lundeberg, Arthur Millier, Myron Chester Nutting, and Muriel Tyler Nutting.
Photographs of exhibition installations and openings include views of the Katharine Kuh Gallery; Fernand Léger, Man Ray, and László Moholy-Nagy at the Art Institute of Chicago; and Philip Guston, Jimmy Ernst, Seymour H. Knox, Franz Kline, Robert Motherwell, and Mark Rothko at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. There are also photographs depicting three men posing as Léger's "Three Musicians" and the visit of Queen Elizabeth II to the Art Institute of Chicago. There is a photograph by Peter Pollack of an elk skull used as a model by Georgia O'Keeffe.
Additional photographs of friends and colleagues include Ivan Albright, Alfred Barr, Alexander Calder, Marc Chagall, Willem De Kooning, Edwin Dickinson, Marcel Duchamp, Claire Falkenstein, Alberto Giacometti, poet Robert Graves with Len Lye, Philip Johnson, Gyorgy and Juliet Kepes, Carlos Mérida, José Orozco, Hasan Ozbekhan, Pablo Picasso, Carl Sandberg, Ben Shahn, Otto Spaeth, Hedda Sterne, Adlai Stevenson, Clyfford Still, Mark Tobey, and composer Victor Young.
Photographs of artwork include totem poles in Alaska; work by various artists including Claire Falkenstein, Paul Klee, and Hedda Sterne; and work donated to the Guggenheim Museum.
Four audio recordings on cassette are of Katharine Kuh's lectures, including one about assembling corporate collections, and of Daniel Catton Rich reading his own poetry. There is also a recording of the Second Annual Dialogue between Broadcasters and Museum Educators.
The collection is arranged as 9 series. Undated correspondence, artwork, and photographs of individual artists are arranged alphabetically. Otherwise, each series is arranged chronologically.
Series 1: Biographical Material, 1945-1992 (Box 1; 16 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1908-1994 (Boxes 1-5, 13-14, OV 15; 4.0 linear feet)
Series 3: Personal Business Records, 1941-1989 (Box 5; 19 folders)
Series 4: Artwork, 1931-1986 (Boxes 5, 13-14, OVs 15-23; 1.7 linear feet)
Series 5: Notes and Writings, 1914-1994 (Boxes 5-7; 1.7 linear feet)
Series 6: Scrapbooks, 1935-1953 (Box 7; 8 folders)
Series 7: Printed Material, 1916-1992 (Boxes 7-10, 13, OV 22; 3.0 linear feet)
Series 8: Photographs, 1875-1993 (Boxes 10-13; 1.2 linear feet)
Series 9: Audio Recordings, 1977 (Box 12; 1 folder)
Katharine Kuh (1904-1994) worked primarily in the Chicago area as an modern art historian, dealer, critic, curator, writer, and consultant. She operated the Katharine Kuh Gallery from 1935-1943 and was the first woman curator of European and Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Katharine Kuh (née Woolf) was born on July 15, 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri, the youngest of the three daughters of Olga Weiner and Morris Woolf, a silk importer. In 1909, the family moved to Chicago, Illinois. While traveling with her family in Europe in 1914, Katharine contracted polio, causing her to spend the next decade in a body brace. During this time of restricted movement, she developed an interest in art history through the collecting of old master prints.
After her recovery, Katharine Woolf attended Vassar College where one of her professors, Alfred Barr, encouraged her to study modern art. She graduated from Vassar in 1925 and received a master's degree in art history from the University of Chicago in 1929. Later that year, she moved to New York to pursue a Ph.D. in Renaissance and medieval art at New York University.
In 1930, Katharine Woolf returned to Chicago and married businessman George Kuh and began to teach art history courses in the suburbs of Chicago. After divorcing George Kuh in 1935, she opened the Katharine Kuh Gallery, the first gallery devoted to avant-garde art in Chicago. It was also the first gallery to exhibit photography and typographical design as art forms, and featured the work of Ansel Adams, Josef Albers, Alexander Calder, Wassily Kandinsky, Fernand Léger, and Man Ray, among others. From 1938 to1940, Kuh was the Visiting Professor of Art at the University School of Fine Arts, San Miguel, Mexico.
After the Katharine Kuh Gallery closed in 1943, Kuh was hired by museum director Daniel Catton Rich to fill a position in public relations at the Art Institute of Chicago. During the following years, Kuh edited the museum's Quarterly publication, took charge of the museum's Gallery of Interpretive Art, and began a long term relationship with Rich. In 1946, Kuh was sent on a special mission for the U. S. Office of Indian Affairs to make a detailed study of Native American totemic carvings in Alaska.
In 1949, Kuh persuaded Mr. and Mrs. Walter Arensberg of Los Angeles to exhibit their collection of modern art, creating the first post-war exhibition of modern art in Chicago. She published her first book Art Has Many Faces in 1951, and in the following year, she began writing art criticism for The Saturday Review. In 1954, Kuh was appointed the first woman curator of European Art and Sculpture at the Art Institute. She assembled the American contribution for the Venice Biennale in 1956 and during these years, Kuh helped acquire many of the works of modern art currently in the museum's collection.
A year following Daniel Catton Rich's 1958 resignation from the Art Institute of Chicago, Kuh also resigned and pursued a career in New York as an art collection advisor, most notably for the First National Bank of Chicago. In 1959, Kuh was made art critic for The Saturday Review, and she continued to publish books, including The Artist's Voice in 1962, Break-Up: The Core of Modern Art in 1965, and The Open Eye: In Pursuit of Art in 1971.
Katharine Kuh died on January 10, 1994 in New York City.
The Katharine Kuh papers were donated in several installments from 1971 to 1989 by Katharine Kuh and in 1994 by her estate. Artwork was donated in 1995 by Kuh's former employer, the Art Institute of Chicago.
Authorization to quote, publish or reproduce requires written permission until 2019. Contact the Archives of American Art Reference Services department for additional information.
Correspondence, photographs, business and financial records, printed matter, scrapbooks, and exhibition catalogs document Mrs. Liebman's acquisition of modern American art, European painting and decorative arts, her interest in and support of photography, her encouragement of individual artists, the inception and early history of the Museum of Modern Art, and her own painting career.
REEL 4203: Correspondence with Ansel Adams, Oscar Bluemner, Gutson Borglum, Gaston Lachaise, Stanton Macdonald-Wright, John Marin, the Museum of Modern Art, Alfred Stieglitz and An American Place, Paul Strand and Edward Weston, among many others. Among the business records are receipts for works of art purchased by Mrs. Liebman. Photographs show a photography exhibition opening (1935). Printed matter, mainly newspaper clippings and gallery announcements, relates to artists represented in the Liebman Collection, exhibitions which included loans from the Liebman Collection, and events in which Aline Meyer Liebman participated. Four scrapbooks (1936-1947), comprised of printed matter, correspondence, and photographs, relate to Aline Meyer Liebman's career as a painter. Six exhibition catalogs date from 1921 to 1935. Other material concerns Edgar Degas, Artistide Maillol, Pablo Picasso, Diego Rivera, and Gino Severini.
ADDITION (NOT MICROFILMED): Letters, 1906-1978; invoices for paintings purchased, 1929-1931; financial statements; photographs of Liebman's apartment, works in the Liebman Collection, paintings by Aline Meyer Liebman, and exhibition installations; and a catalog of Parke-Bernet's 1955 Liebman sale.
Biographical / Historical:
Aline Meyer Liebman (1879-1966) was a painter, art patron, and collector of modern art from New York, N.Y. Born in Los Angeles, Calif., Aline Meyer Liebman studied at Barnard College, and with Stefan Hirsch and Henry Mosler. She exhibited at Walker Galleries (1936), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (1937), Bennington College (1937), Portland Museum (1939), and Weyhe Gallery (1943), among others.
Donated 1986 and 1989 by Margaret Liebman Berger, Aline Meyer Liebman's daughter.
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.
Art patrons -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
The Kahn Family Films document the activities of the Godwin Construction Co. of New York City from 1928-1934. The films also document more than twenty-five years of the Bergman and Kahn family life and travel. The films are silent, 16mm black and white reversal and Kodachrome. Unless otherwise noted, films were arranged in the Archives Center on compilation reels by subject. Some images are deteriorated because of age and film conditions, most noticeably on 722.39. A detailed description of each reel is included under each film title. The collection is divided into five series and arranged in chronological order;
Series 1, Godwin Construction Company, 1927-1934; documents the digging, structural support and daily site activities at various Godwin construction jobs around New York City. In the footage taken at the Chrysler Building site, Bergman documented many of the workers who worked on the job as well as the secretaries in the main offices with filmed portrait shots. While the films are primarily focused on documenting construction practices and procedures at the sites, there is also footage of workmen and machinery. The films also document the company=s annual ABeefsteak@ that eventually moved from a banquet hall to one of the islands in Jamaica Bay.
Series 2, Rockaway Park Yacht Club, 1927-1929; documents many of Bergman's yachting activities on the yacht Thora and events at the Rockaway Park Yacht Club (RPYC) from family related activities to some of the Godwin Company's Beefsteaks.
Series 3, Travel and Leisure, 1926-1957, undated; documents many of the Bergman and Kahn family trips to various locations in the United States and Europe. The 1927 trip to Canada and the American West has footage of Hollywood, then just on the verge of adding sound to motion pictures. The 1929 trip to Europe occurred not only during the first year of the Great Depression but is a wonderful travelogue of Europe in the years before WWII. On reel 722.27 there is an interesting shot of a poster, "Ethel et Julius Rosenberg Que Les Assassins, Soient Maudits A Jamais" [trans: Ethel and Julius Rosenberg let the assassins be cursed/condemned forever.] showing a young boy throwing mud on the poster - presumably in protest.
Series 4, Family and Home Life, 1928-1958; Titles of the footage are taken directly from the original film containers. There is footage of many family members and gatherings. There is footage shot at Bergman's onetime home at 120-18 Newport Ave., Rockaway Park, Long Island. There is footage of tennis great Bill Tilden giving a small exhibition match in Florida in 1946 on 722.25.
Series 5, Papers, 1927-1958; are selections of the original paper containers for some of the films with the original notes and identifications written on them. This series also contains a copy of Bergman's 1907 thesis and related papers and architectural drawings.
Biographical / Historical:
Harry Montefiore Bergman (1885-1971) was born on August 3, 1885 in Elmira, New York. He graduated from college in 1907 with a degree in Applied Science from Columbia University's School of Engineering. After graduation, he went to work for Godwin Construction Co. He specialized in structural foundations and was an authority on the soil and bedrock of Manhattan Island, New York. Beginning his employment as a superintendent, he rose to the position of Secretary and General Superintendent of Civil Engineering in June, 1927. In January 1932, Bergman was elevated to Vice-President and finally attained the presidency of the company in 1957. Bergman retired from the company in 1967. He was a member of the Association of American Society of Civil Engineers.
Godwin Construction Company was founded by Philander Hanford Godwin (1877-1936) in the early 20th century. Godwin was one of the pre-eminent civil engineering firms in New York City primarily involved in constructing foundations for large public building projects. The company was responsible for digging and construction of the foundations for the Chrysler Building, 176th St. Telephone Building, the old New York Port Authority Truck Terminal, the old Madison Square Garden at 8th Ave. and 50th St., the Hudson River Bridge, New York Hospital, Knickerbocker Village and others. Godwin Construction Co. was located in New York City, through the years at various locations: by 1915 at 251 4th Ave., by 1932 at 370 Lexington Ave., Rm. 1201 and later at 130 East 44th St.
Bergman, a lifelong bachelor, developed a love of motion picture photography and pursued this hobby with great enthusiasm. He photographed not only Godwin's construction work and work sites at various foundation projects throughout New York City in the 1920s and 1930s but filmed the company picnics, called "Beefsteaks", family leisure time activities and vacations as well. Bergman was also an avid yachtsman and filmed many hours of footage while sailing on Samuel Lauterbach's yachtThora , (the Thora may also have been owned in a partnership between Lauterbach and Bergman) and at the Rockaway Park Yacht Club (RPYC) in Rockaway Park, New York. Bergman, along with Lauterbach, was one of the founders of the RPYC and it was reportedly founded because Jews were not allowed membership in any of the "exclusive" yacht clubs surrounding Manhattan. The yacht club was destroyed during the hurricane of 1938. Many films feature Ruth Perl who was Bergman's favorite niece. They took numerous trips to California, Canada, and Europe. Perl seems to also have taken an interest in motion picture photography as well, often operating the camera herself. Perl married Irving Kahn and had three sons, Donald Kahn, Alan R. Kahn and Thomas G. Kahn, who figure prominently in the later films. Bergman was a lifelong resident of New York. As of 1916, his address was 615 W. 143rd St., New York, NY. For a time he lived at 120-18 Newport Ave. in Rockaway Park, NY. In 1951 he bought a home at 143-17 Cronston Avenue in Belle Harbor. At the end of his life, Bergman is noted as living at 1 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. Bergman died on August 3, 1971. At the time of his death Bergman was staying at the Florence Nightingale Nursing Home, 175 East 96th St. in New York, New York.
Bergman's employer and the founder of Godwin Construction Co., Philander H. Godwin, was born on September 30, 1877 in New York City, NY. Godwin graduated from Columbia University's School of Engineering with a degree in Applied Science in 1899. After graduation, he married Carrie L. Pye and they had two children. Godwin founded the Godwin Construction Co. in the early 20th century and was the company's president until his death in 1936. As of 1916, his residence address was Cedar and Arch Avenues in Larchmont, NY and by the time of his death he was living at 26 Willow Avenue in Larchmont. He was a member of the Larchmont Yacht Club and perhaps had a great influence on Bergman's taking up the sport. He was an active member of St. John's Episcopal Church, Larchmont and a member of the Union League. Godwin died on March 27, 1936 in Larchmont.
Sources: Records of Columbia University, New York, New York
"City Sells 2 Plots for Factory Sites", New York Times, June 6th, 1951, pg. 64.
Newspaper Obituary of Harry N. Bergman, Archives Center Control File
Conversation and correspondence with Alan and Kimberly Kahn
My Life: Edward du Moulin
Donated to the National Museum of American History, Archives Center in 2000 by Kimberly R. Kahn, great-great niece of Harry M. Bergman.
Collection is open for research but the original and master (preservation) films are stored off-site and special arrangements must be made to work with it. Contact the Archives Center for information at email@example.com or 202-633-3270.
The National Museum of American History may not authorize publication, reproduction, or distribution by a commercial, for-profit publisher, distributor, media producer, or film maker without the express permission of the Donors.
The term of the requirement for written authorization prior to third party, for-profit, commercial use will last 50 (fifty) years unless agreed to in writing by both the National Museum of American History and the Donors.
The Stable Gallery records measure 2.9 linear feet and are dated 1916-1999 (bulk 1953-1970). The gallery was known for its representation of the New York School. Records consist mainly of artist files containing biographical notes, correspondence, price lists, sales and payment information, printed matter, and photographs. A small number of gallery administrative and financial records are included, along with printed matter, photographs, and personal papers and estate records of gallery founder and owner Eleanor Ward. There are also reminiscences by gallery owner Eleanor Ward and her assistant Alan Groh, a sound cassette recording of Eleanor Ward, and a videoreel (1/2 inch) documentary of a 1973 Sotheby auction of works from the Robert C. Scull collection.
Scope and Content Note:
The Stable Gallery records measure 2.9 linear feet and are dated 1916-1999 (bulk 1953-1970). The gallery was known for its representation of the New York School. Records consist mainly of artist files containing biographical notes, correspondence, price lists, sales and payment information, printed matter, and photographs. A small number of gallery administrative and financial records are included, along with printed matter, photographs, personal papers, and estate records of gallery founder and owner Eleanor Ward. There are also reminiscences by gallery owner Eleanor Ward and her assistant Alan Groh, a sound cassette recording of Eleanor Ward, and a videoreel (1/2 inch) documentary of a 1973 Sotheby auction of works from the Robert C. Scull collection.
The Stable Gallery's administrative records includes both general correspondence and copious letters from Eleanor Ward to Alan Groh, her assitant regarding gallery business, lists, floor plans, financial records, printed matter, and photographs of unidentified artwork and exhibition installations. There are also reminiscences by gallery owner Eleanor Ward and Alan Groh, a cassette recording of Eleanor Ward, and a film recording of a 1973 Sotheby auction of works from the Robert C. Scull collection. Additional Stable Gallery administrative and financial information, as well as related printed matter is included with the artist files.
Artist files contain biographical notes, correspondence, price lists, printed matter, and photographs of artists and artwork. The correspondence includes memoranda regarding payments to artists and sales information. Among the printed matter is documentation of the Stable Gallery and other exhibitions, reviews, and miscellaneous articles. Unfortunately, no records about the famous Stable Annuals held between 1953 and 1957 survive.
Artwork consists of 4 sketchbooks and loose sheets with charcoal drawings by unidentified artist(s).
The Eleanor Ward papers include miscellaneous personal papers and records concerning her estate. Photographs in the series are of Eleanor Ward, friends and family, parties, and the interior and exterior of Ward's Connecticut house.
The collection is arranged as four series:
Series 1: Administrative Records, 1955-1986 (0.5 linear feet; Boxes 1, 4, 5)
Series 2: Artist Files, 1952-1997 (1.6 linear feet; Boxes 1-2)
Series 3: Artwork, circa 1955-1970 (3 folders; Box 4)
Series 4: Eleanor Ward Papers, 1916-1999 (0.5 linear feet; Boxes 2-4, 5)
Established in 1953 by Eleanor Ward (1911-1984), the Stable Gallery derived its name from its first home, a former livery stable on Seventh Avenue at West 58th Street, New York City. Long interested in art and recognized for her "good taste" and "flair," Mrs. Ward had vaguely considered the idea of opening her own gallery for some time and received encouragement from Christian Dior, with whom she had worked in Paris. In 1952, opportunity arose to lease a suitable building that would later become a gallery. At first, Ward and a friend sold mannequins and made the large, empty space available for fashion photography; in December, she operated a Christmas boutique for a few weeks.
The Stable Gallery opened in 1953 with an exhibition of work by Ward's friend Mike Mishke, a commercial artist. She then arranged for the Stable Gallery to host a sequel to the 1951 Ninth Street Show (the initial show, organized by the Club with financial assistance from Leo Castelli, was held in an empty store on Ninth Street). The New York Artists Annual, better known as the Stable Annual, was selected by the artists themselves; this well-attended, widely-reviewed, and influential exhibition continued until 1957. Participating artists included Philip Guston, Franz Kline, Willem deKooning, Robert Motherwell, Jackson Pollock, Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt, Richard Stankiewicz, and Jack Tworkov.
The Stable Gallery soon became a gathering place for artists, including some not in Stable's "stable." Over the years, the Stable Gallery presented the first one-man shows of Robert Indiana, Cy Twombly, and Andy Warhol. Among the artists closely associated with the gallery were: Joseph Cornell, Edward Dugmore, John Ferren, Alex Katz, Conrad Marca-Relli, Marisol, Joan Mitchell, Isamu Noguchi, Richard Stankiewicz, Cy Twombly, Jack Tworkov, and Wilfred Zogbaum. The gallery was known for dramatic, somewhat theatrical installations, and occasionally presented exhibitions beyond its usual focus (photographs by Hans Namuth and pre-Columbian sculpture, which personally interested Ward).
When the block where the Stable Gallery stood was razed in 1960 to make way for a high rise apartment building, Mrs. Ward moved her gallery to 33 East 74th Street, where she was able to maintain an apartment for herself upstairs. Quite abruptly, Ward closed the Stable Gallery in 1970, noting changes in the art scene, growing commercialization, and a loss of enthusiasm that made the gallery merely a business for her. Alan Groh (1923-1996), who started as Eleanor Ward's assistant in 1956 and was eventually named gallery director, became director of A. M. Sachs Gallery. Mrs. Ward traveled widely and acted as an art consultant to selected clients.
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Eleanor Ward conducted by Paul Cummings, February 8, 1972.
The Stable Gallery records were the gift of the Estate of Eleanor Ward. In 1984, artist files were received from Alan Groh, executor of Ward's estate and her assistant at the Stable Gallery. Additional records were donated in 1997 by Buzz Miller on behalf of the Estate of Eleanor Ward; Mr. Miller was Alan Groh's partner and executor of his estate. Another addition was received in 1999 from Paul Gardner, executor of the Estate of Buzz Miller. A final addition of 0.2 liner feet was donated in 2019 by Nancy Berner, Alan Groh's niece.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information. Use of archival audiovisual recordings with no duplicate access copy requires advance notice.
An interview with Allan Sekula conducted 2011 August 20-2012 February 14, by Mary Panzer, for the Archives of American Art at Sekula's studio and home in Los Angeles, California and at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, New York.
Sekula speaks of his career and some of the mediums he works in; language and contemporary art; Roland Barthes; his relation to contemporary art; west coast conceptualism; genre switches; realism; documentary photography; Belgium and the industrial revolution; Meunier; minor figures; art history and marginalism; Roberto Matta; World War I; Homer Folks; Fish Story; historic cinema; economic factors of art shows and publication; galleries and the art world; growing up and his family; his father and moving; Ohio; his brothers and sisters; San Pedro; demographics of students at school; sports at school; Vietnam; protests; cross country and swimming; California; fishing; college; U.C. system; declaring a major; John Altoon; Ed Kienholz; exposure to art; visiting museums; Marcuse's classes; Baldessari's classes; course work and student life; student demonstrations; working in a library and exposure to books; father losing his job; science and working as a chemical technician; politics; his uncle committing suicide; moving away from his father; the draft; John Birch; Students for a Democratic Society; his mother; politics of his parents; Aerospace Folk Tales, autodidacts and scholarship; San Diego and Mexico; obtaining a camera and starting to use it; art school; CalArts; UCSD; Meditations on a Triptych; David Salle; Fred Lonidier; Phel Steinmetz; MFA and art training; poets; story of Allen Ginsberg and one of Sekula's sculptures; production and the audience; A Photograph is Worth a Thousand Questions, photography and the burden of tradition; pictorialism; moving to New York; Artforum; October; New York music scene; Captain Beefheart; Bo Diddley; Little Richard; Steichen and aerial photography; origins of October; New Criterion; Art Critic's Grant; teaching at Ohio State; television; technological historians; New York subway and getting a ticket for using French money; RISD lectures; Long Beach; photography; collages; Metro Pictures; New Topographics; School as a Factory; moral choice and the viewer; work method and the audience; Social Criticism and Art Practice; east and west coasts; Ed Ruscha; documentary; film, Los Angeles; cinema and social history; Ohio State Department of Photography and Cinema; Los Angeles Plays Itself; Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador; Ohio State campus, anti-Semitism; Ronald Reagan and protest; influences and colleagues; intellectual genealogy; Michael Graves and Ohio State architecture; Bad Ohio; tenure; University Exposed; AIDS issue of October; The Body and the Archive; making film; Korean War; collectors and images. Sekula also recalls Eleanor Antin, Jeff Wall, Terry Fox, Lewis Hine, Walker Evans, Paul Saltman, Marcuse, Baldessari, Sacvan Bercovitch, Stanley Miller, Jef Raskin, Paul Brach, David Antin, Howard Fried, Peter Van Riper, Alison Knowles, Dick Higgins, Manny Farber, Ihab Hassan, Diane Wakoski, Jackson Mac Low, Martha Rosler, Lenny Neufeld, Joshua Neufeld, David Wing, Brian Connell, Max Kozloff, Ian Burn, Mel Ramsden, Carole Conde, Karl Beveridge, Barry Rosens, Tom Crow, John Copeland, Harry Lunn, Hilton Kramer, Grace Mayer, Carol Duncan, Eva Cockroft, Richard Pommer, Rosalind Krauss, Sally Stein, Paddy Chayefsky, John Hanhardt, Mel Ramsden, Sarah Charlesworth, Jospeh Kosuth, Baruch Kirschenbaum, Robert Heinecken, Brian O'Doherty, Howard Becker, Jay Ruby, Jerry Liebling, Anna Wilkie, Ronald Feldman, John Gibson, David Ross, Britt Salvesen, Larry Sultan, Mike Mandel, Roy Ascott, Ilene Segalove, Paul Schimmel, DeeDee Halleck, Noel Burch, Joan Braderman, Woody Hayes, Thom Andersen, John Quigley, Ron Green, Kasper Koenig, Dan Graham, Jonathan Green, Christa Wolf, Catherine Lord, Ben Lifson, and Annette Michelson.
Biographical / Historical:
Allan Sekula (1951-2013) was a photographer, filmmaker, and writer, based at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California. Mary Panzer (1955- ) is a historian from New York, New York.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
The collection comprises 29 linear feet of records that document the day-to-day administration of the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery from 1962 to 1991, with additional items predating the founding of the gallery from 1851 to 1961. The collection records artist and client relations, exhibitions, and daily business transactions through artist files, correspondence, printed matter, and photographic material.
Scope and Content Note:
The records of the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery comprise 29 linear feet of material from 1851 to 1991, with some items predating the founding of the gallery. The bulk of the records date from 1962 to 1991, providing researchers with fairly comprehensive coverage of the gallery's development and operations from its inception in 1962 until its closure in 1991. Items dated prior to 1962 relate principally to the period of transition during which Robert Schoelkopf ended his partnership with the Zabriskie Gallery and established his own business. There are also some items relating to artists of the nineteenth and early twentieth century.
The collection consists primarily of artist files documenting relations with contemporary artists, representation of deceased artists, and other works of art handled by the gallery. It also chronicles the gallery's exhibition schedule and the day-to-day administration of the business. The types of material that can be found here include correspondence, exhibition inventories, price lists, accounting and consignment records, shipping and insurance records, printed material, and photographs.
The collection is a valuable source of information on twentieth-century American art history, focusing primarily on early-twentieth-century modernists as well as an important group of American realist painters and sculptors from the latter half of the century. The collection illuminates, in detail, the developing market for these schools and, in the case of the latter group, provides personal insights from artists on the realist perspective.
The records also document the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery's significant contribution to the resurgence of interest in fine art photography during the 1960s and 1970s as reflected in an increase in the value of works by important American photographers such as Walker Evans.
Much of the outgoing correspondence from the gallery consists of copies of letters written by Robert Schoelkopf, with additional business being handled by assistant staff and, from the mid-1970s, Schoelkopf's wife, Laura Jane Schoelkopf. The records offer insight into the personalities of the Schoelkopfs and how their congenial and candid management style influenced their relationships with the contemporary artists they represented.
Originally the collection was organized as one large file arranged alphabetically by folder title, with titles ranging from names of artists to general subject headings such as "Correspondence." During processing it became clear that the gallery delineated operations into three main functions: artist relations, client-dealer relations, and exhibitions. Consequently the collection is arranged as three main series based on these areas of concern. A small group of miscellaneous photographs of artists constitutes an additional series at the end of the collection.
Originally paper records throughout the collection were generally arranged chronologically, although this order was not strictly adhered to. Frequently, correspondence and memoranda were attached to related records going back several years. To preserve the relationship between such documents, records stapled together in this way have been left together. They are arranged in reverse chronological order and filed in the folder corresponding to the primary date (i.e., the date of the first and most recent paper in the group). Researchers should be aware that date ranges provided on folders refer to the primary dates of documents contained therein and that some items in the folder may predate that range. Otherwise, the general chronological scheme has been retained throughout the collection, with undated material placed at the beginning of the appropriate file.
Printed material is arranged in chronological order, with undated material at the beginning of the folder, and may include press releases, exhibition announcements, exhibition catalogs, posters, clippings from newspapers, magazines, and journals, and other publicity material. Large amounts of printed material are broken down into several discrete folder units.
The most consistent labeling system for photographic material apparent throughout the collection was title of work of art. The majority of images are not dated with a printing date or the date that the work of art was produced, and although many of them have a processing number, these are by no means consistent and there are no master lists that can be used to interpret them. Consequently, images are arranged primarily by media type and then alphabetically by title. Untitled images are placed at the beginning of a media group; "the" in a title is ignored. Exceptions to this method are addressed in the appropriate series descriptions.
Files labeled "Photographs of Works of Art" will typically include any or all of the following: black-and-white copy prints, black-and-white transparencies, color transparencies, slide transparencies, Polaroid prints, color snapshots, contact sheets, and separation sheets. Often the same image will be duplicated in several different formats. Any notes on photographic material found in or on the original folder in which the material was filed have been preserved with the material or transcribed onto a sheet of acid-free paper that either encloses or is placed directly before the item to which the information applies.
The designation "General" indicates that a file may contain any or all of the types of material outlined above.
Series 1: Artist Files, 1851-1991, undated (Boxes 1-23; 23 linear ft.)
Series 2: General Business Files, 1960-1991, undated (Boxes 24-28; 4.74 linear ft.)
Series 3: Group Exhibition Files, 1960-1988, undated (Boxes 28-29; 1 linear ft.)
Series 4: Photographs of Artists, undated (Box 29; 0.25 linear ft.)
Robert Schoelkopf, Jr., was born in Queens, New York, in 1927. He graduated from Yale College in 1951 with a bachelor of arts degree and then taught briefly at his alma mater while conducting graduate research in art history. Schoelkopf began his career in commercial art in 1957 as an independent dealer of American painting and sculpture and became a member of the Art Dealers Association of America in 1958. In 1959 he formed a partnership with Virginia Zabriskie, of the Zabriskie Gallery in New York, which lasted until 1962. The gallery exhibited late-nineteenth and early-twentieth-century American painting, together with contemporary painting of a somewhat conservative style.
In 1962 Schoelkopf signed a three-year lease for the fourth floor of a building at 825 Madison Avenue in New York, where he opened the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery. From the outset, Schoelkopf aimed to specialize in American painting of the nineteenth and twentieth century and sculpture of all schools. He predicted a burgeoning market for the Hudson River School in particular, believing that American painting was increasingly perceived as being worthy of serious attention. In a letter dated January 3, 1963, Schoelkopf congratulated John Spencer for his decision to collect nineteenth-century American paintings for the Allen Memorial Art Museum at Oberlin College, assuring him that "progressive chauvanism [ sic] will operate to elevate prices in American painting. Every year more colleges teach Art History, and soon they shall have reached the level of sophistication and development where they will be obliged (for face) to offer tuition in specifically American art - hitherto neglected of academicians.... I and many other dealers have plans for exhibitions of nineteenth-century American painting, especially the Hudson River School."
Schoelkopf's instincts regarding the Hudson River School were undoubtedly correct, and consequently nineteenth-century American painters formed a permanent mainstay of his inventory. He is perhaps remembered more, however, for his dedication to reviving interest in lesser-known American painters from the turn-of-the-century who were impressionist or modernist in style. Schoelkopf developed something of a reputation for unearthing forgotten talent that, while sometimes mediocre or inconsistent, was occasionally exceptional and certainly worthy of note. He was committed to reinstalling Joseph Stella in the pantheon of major American artists, representing Stella's estate from 1963 to 1971 and holding regular exhibitions of the artist's work from 1962 on. In 1969 the gallery held the first New York exhibition of the paintings of Manierre Dawson, who was subsequently acclaimed by the critics for his important and innovative contributions to modernism. In 1970 Schoelkopf began showing the work of Jan Matulka, an artist whose work had been neglected since the 1930s, and his enthusiastic representation of the Matulka estate paved the way for a retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1979.
Schoelkopf's interest in turn-of-the-century artists also extended to sculptors such as John Flannagan, Ethel Myers, Elie Nadelman, and John Henry Bradley Storrs, and he directed considerable energy to furthering Gaston Lachaise's reputation as an artist of major stature. When Lachaise died at the peak of his career in 1935, his estate was left to his wife, Isabel, and in 1957 to Isabel's son, Edward. When Edward died shortly thereafter, John B. Pierce, Jr., a nephew of Isabel Lachaise, was appointed trustee of the estate and formed the Lachaise Foundation. In 1962 Pierce entered an agreement with Robert Schoelkopf and Felix Landau to represent Lachaise's sculpture on the East and West Coasts, respectively. In this capacity Schoelkopf helped to launch a major retrospective of the artist's work at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1964 and a traveling exhibition that began circulating in 1967.
The gallery's other major commitment was to painting and sculpture by contemporary American realists, many of whom worked in a figurative style and explored elements of allegory and classical mythology in their work, presenting landscapes, still lifes, and portraits from a realist perspective. The bulk of the gallery's exhibitions were, in fact, of work by contemporary artists, including metaphysical still-life painter William Bailey, colorist Leland Bell, figurative painter Martha Mayer Erlebacher, landscape and narrative painter Gabriel Laderman, and Icelandic artist Louisa Matthiasdottir. William Bailey was one of the gallery's most commercially successful artists, and his first one-person exhibition in New York was held there in 1968. Demand for Bailey's paintings often far exceeded his output, and by the late 1970s Schoelkopf invariably sold out his exhibitions and had compiled a lengthy waiting list for his work.
In its early years the Robert Schoelkopf Gallery contributed considerably to the development of interest in fine art photography that fostered an increasingly lucrative market for photographic prints during the 1960s and 1970s. In 1965 Schoelkopf began incorporating photography into the gallery's exhibition schedule and, in the spring of 1974, opened a gallery dedicated to photography on the second floor at 825 Madison Avenue. Between 1965 and 1979 Schoelkopf's was the only serious New York gallery dealing in painting and sculpture that also regularly exhibited photography as fine art. His interests lay primarily in antiquarian photography and the work of nineteenth-century and twentieth-century masters including Eugéne Atget, Mathew Brady, James Robertson, and Carleton Watkins. Schoelkopf organized shows examining specific photographic processes, the photogravure and the cyanotype, and presented surveys of genres such as portrait and landscape photography. In 1967 he held the first exhibition in many years of the work of Julia Margaret Cameron, an important figure in the history of Victorian photography, timing it to coincide with a show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art that focused on Cameron as one of four Victorian photographers.
Schoelkopf also handled the work of several influential contemporaries, most notably Brassaï, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Walker Evans, and Gisèle Freund. The gallery held Freund's first exhibition in the United States in 1975 and was, for a time, the only place in New York where one could see and purchase prints by Cartier-Bresson. Schoelkopf began exhibiting Evans's work in 1966 and regularly thereafter, including a 1971 exhibition that coincided with a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art.
In the fall of 1976 the second-floor gallery space was turned over to Marcuse (Cusie) Pfeifer, then the gallery's director, who planned to use it to show the work of young photographers in a gallery under her own name. Schoelkopf continued to hold several photography exhibitions a year in the fourth-floor gallery but decided to concentrate primarily on nineteenth-century masters.
In March 1971 a fire in the building at Madison Avenue resulted in substantial water damage to the gallery space. Although very little of the inventory was destroyed, the incident forced Schoelkopf to close until September. This temporary loss of revenue compounded with a nationwide recession cut into Schoelkopf's financial resources and left him questioning his commission policy and his level of commitment to contemporary work in all media. A letter to artist Adolph Rosenblatt dated May 3, 1971, records how Schoelkopf had become increasingly disenchanted with "all contemporary work" and would begin taking 40 percent commission on sales, instead of 33.3 percent. "Beside the matter of enthusiasm is the matter of economics," Schoelkopf remarked, "and the last year and a half have been really dreadful for the art business."
This difficult period was followed immediately by more prosperous times. January 1973 proved to be the gallery's most successful month to date, encouraging Schoelkopf to purchase a house in Chappaqua, New York, later that year. In November 1974 Schoelkopf wrote to Anthony D'Offay that business "is as slow as it has ever been, but what sales we make are big ones" and revealed that auctions had, at that point, become his primary avenue for trade.
Around 1975 Schoelkopf's wife of eleven years, Laura Jane Schoelkopf, began working in the gallery. Although seemingly dubious of the work at first, she became a considerable asset to the business and reputedly complemented her husband's relationship with the gallery's contemporary artists through her warmth and hospitality, qualities often noted by artists who corresponded regularly with the couple.
The financial instability that characterized the 1970s undoubtedly influenced Schoelkopf's decision to cease exhibiting photography in 1979. By 1978 however, his investment in early-twentieth-century art appeared to be paying off. Jan Matulka, Joseph Stella, and John Henry Bradley Storrs had all been represented in exhibitions at major museums, and sales of their work had increased considerably. Gaston Lachaise's reputation continued to grow, and the traveling exhibition still circulated, garnering far more interest than had originally been anticipated.
Although contemporary artists continued to take up the largest portion of the gallery's changing exhibitions, Schoelkopf's interest in contemporary work was growing more conservative, tending toward a narrower focus on the narrative and allegorical. By 1979 he no longer exhibited contemporary sculpture, admitting to a lack of enthusiasm for the work of any of the current figurative sculptors and a dislike of all contemporary abstract work. In a letter to Lillian Delevoryas, dated March 17, 1982, he confessed, "With age has come a hardening of the aesthetic arteries perhaps. What we have been showing is realism, but getting tighter all the time."
In April 1984 the gallery was moved to 50 West Fifty-seventh Street, and, during the years that followed, the Schoelkopfs pared down the number of contemporary artists they represented, handling only those to whom they felt most strongly committed while continuing to specialize in nineteenth-century and early-twentieth-century American painting and sculpture. As the gallery approached its thirtieth anniversary, Schoelkopf's achievements were considerable. He had operated a successful New York gallery for almost three decades, rejuvenated the reputations of several important American artists, and was respected by artists and clients alike for the integrity, intelligence, and humor with which he conducted his business affairs. In 1987 he had been appointed to the board of trustees of the Williamstown Regional Art Conservation Laboratory. By this time he was also a member of the advisory board to the National Academy of Design, and in 1988 he became a co-trustee of the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation.
In March 1990, Robert Schoelkopf was diagnosed with leukemia and underwent a regimen of cancer treatment that resulted in a brief remission by the summer. Schoelkopf returned to work temporarily, but by 1991 his condition had worsened and he died in April of that year. Having known for some time that her husband's prognosis was poor, Laura Jane Schoelkopf had apparently decided that she would not continue the gallery in the event of his death. With the help of the youngest of their two sons, Andrew, she settled final accounts and assisted the gallery's contemporary artists in finding representation elsewhere before closing the business in August 1991.
Twenty-seven linear feet of records were donated to the Archives of American Art by Laura Jane Schoelkopf, Robert Schoelkopf's widow, and the Coe Kerr Gallery in 1991 and 1992. An additional gift of 3.4 linear feet was donated by Laura Jane Schoelkopf in 1996. The collection was reduced slightly during processing.
The collection is open for research. Use requires an appointment.
The papers of art critic, writer, and historian Elizabeth McCausland measure 45 linear feet and date from 1838 to 1995, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920 to 1960. The collection provides a vast accumulation of research data on various artists and aspects of American art, especially the early American modernists and the Federal Arts Projects. Papers include McCausland's extensive research and writing files, particularly on Marsden Hartley, E. L. Henry, Lewis Hine, George Inness, and Alfred H. Maurer. McCausland's correspondence with artists includes a substantial amount with Arthur Dove and Alfred Stieglitz. Her collaborative work with Berenice Abbott on the Changing New York book and series of photographs is well-documented within the collection. Also found are general writings, subject files, files relating to exhibitions, teaching, and committees, photographs, art work, personal papers, and printed material. Additional McCausland material donated later from the estate of Berenice Abbott include biographical materials, project files, writings, and printed materials.
Scope and Content Note:
The papers of art critic, writer, and historian Elizabeth McCausland measure approximately 45 linear feet and date from 1838 to 1995, with the bulk of the material dating from 1920 to 1995. The collection provides a vast accumulation of data on various artists and aspects of American art, especially the early American modernists and the Federal Arts Projects. Papers include McCausland's extensive research and writing files, particularly on Marsden Hartley, E. L. Henry, Lewis Hine, George Inness, and Alfred H. Maurer. McCausland's correspondence with artists includes a substantial amount with Arthur Dove and Alfred Stieglitz. Her collaborative work with Berenice Abbott on the Changing New York book and series of photographs is well-documented within the collection. Also found are general writings, subject files, files relating to exhibitions, teaching, and committees, photographs, art work, personal papers, and printed material. Additional McCausland material from the estate of Berenice Abbott include biographical materials, project files, writings, and printed materials.
McCausland's personal papers consist of appointment books and engagement calendars, scrapbooks, student papers, works printed on her private press, financial records, biographical material, and scattered memorabilia, which together document other aspects of her life apart from her work. Correspondence includes incoming and outgoing letters along with enclosures, dating from McCausland's time as a journalist for The Springfield Republican in the 1920s and 1930s to her time as a freelance writer, art critic, and historian (1940s-1960s) and mostly concerning professional matters. Also included is a substantial amount of correspondence with artists, particularly Arthur Dove and Alfred Stieglitz, and some personal correspondence with her mother. General writings consists primarily of copies of McCausland's speeches and lectures on various art topics in addition to her early poems (dating from the 1930s) and scattered essays and articles.
The most extensive part of the collection is comprised of McCausland's research and writing files pertaining to large research and curatorial projects, such as ones on the artists Alfred H. Maurer and Marsden Hartley (which was begun by the American Art Research Council and subsequently taken over by McCausland), and one for the American Processional exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery in 1950. A wide variety of smaller projects are also well-documented in the series Other Research and Writing Files, including ones on E. L. Henry, Lewis Hine, George Inness, her collaborative work with Berenice Abbott on the Changing New York book and series of photographs. Numerous other artists and art topics are covered as well, such as Arthur Dove, Robert Henri, Jacob Lawrence, Charles Hawthorne, film, and photography. Files for her book Careers in Art (1950), her many speaking and lecture engagements, and editing work are also found in this series. Files consist primarily of correspondence, notes, research material, manuscripts, bibliographies, photographs of works of art, completed research forms for works of art, card index files, and printed material.
Also found are subject files containing printed material, scattered notes and correspondence, and photographs, which may have been used for reference and/or collected in the course of McCausland's research activities; files relating to various exhibitions organized by McCausland from 1939 to 1944, including ones of silk screen prints and modern photography; files relating to courses on art history taught by McCausland, especially the one she taught at Barnard College in 1956; and files stemming from her participation in various art organizations and committees, especially during the time period just before and during the Second World War.
Printed material consists primarily of clippings and tear sheets of McCausland's newspaper articles and columns, which document her contributions to The Springfield Republican from 1923 to 1946, in addition to scattered exhibition catalogs, announcements, books, and miscellaneous publications. Photographs include ones of various artists and works of art, ones from the Farm Security Administration, and ones by photographers, such as Berenice Abbott (including ones from the Federal Art Project book, Changing New York), Barbara Morgan, Weegee, and Edward Weston, among others. Photographs, sometimes annotated or including notes, are scattered throughout her research files. Also included are photographs of McCausland, dating from her childhood. Art work found in the collection includes drawings, prints, and watercolors that were either given to McCausland by the artist or collected by her in the course of her work as an art critic and historian.
Additional material belonging to Elizabeth McCausland and donated by the estate of Berenice Abbott includes biographical material; business and personal correspondence; professional project files and writings, including drafts and research materials related to the book projects Art in America, Conversations with March, and Frank Kleinholz; and printed materials, including reprints of critical essays and articles by McCausland.
The collection is arranged as 15 series:
Series 1: Personal Papers, 1838, 1920-1951 (Boxes 1-2, 34; 1.5 linear feet)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1923-1960 (Boxes 2-5; 2.9 linear feet)
Series 3: General Writings, circa 1930-1954 (Boxes 5-6; 0.9 linear feet)
Series 4: Alfred H. Maurer, 1851-1951, bulk 1948-1950 (Boxes 6-9; 3.7 linear feet)
Series 5: American Processional, 1949-1951 (Boxes 10-11; 1.8 linear feet)
Series 6: Marsden Hartley, 1900-1964, bulk 1944-1964 (Boxes 11-21, OV 37; 10 linear feet)
Series 7: Other Research and Writing Files, 1896, 1926-1958 (Boxes 21-25, 31; 4.6 linear feet)
Series 8: Subject Files, 1927-1954 (Boxes 25-26; 1.0 linear feet)
Series 9: Other Exhibition Files, 1939-1941, 1944 (Box 26; 0.1 linear feet)
Series 10: Teaching Files, 1939-1965 (Box 27; 0.5 linear feet)
Series 11: Committee Files, 1936-1960 (Box 27; 0.5 linear feet)
Series 12: Printed Material, 1923-1953 (Boxes 28-32, 34, OV 38, BV 44-47; 4.6 linear feet)
Series 13: Photographs, circa 1905-1950 (Boxes 32-36, OV 37; 1.4 linear feet)
Series 14: Art Work, 1887-1942 (Boxes 33-34, OV 39-43; 0.7 linear feet)
Series 15: Elizabeth McCausland Material from the Estate of Berenice Abbott, 1920-1995 (Boxes 48-53; 5.4 linear feet)
Elizabeth McCausland, the art critic and writer, was born in Wichita, Kansas in 1899. She attended Smith College, receiving her Bachelor's degree in 1920 and her Master's in 1922. Beginning in 1923, she worked as a general reporter for The Springfield Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts). After several years, she began to review art exhibitions and soon became an established art critic. In the course of her work, she began to develop friendships with artists, such as Alfred Stieglitz and Arthur Dove. During these early years, she also wrote poetry and designed and printed limited edition publications on her private press.
McCausland moved to New York in 1935, but continued to contribute a weekly art column to The Springfield Republican until it suspended publication in 1946. From the mid-1930s on, she worked primarily as a freelance writer and art critic, contributing articles to publications such as Parnassas, The New Republic, and Magazine of Art. In the latter part of her career, her writings focused more on art history and special studies on artists.
In the late-1930s, McCausland collaborated with the photographer Berenice Abbott on the Federal Art Project book, Changing New York, for which she provided the text to Abbott's now-famous photographs of New York City neighborhoods, architecture, and street scenes. She studied and wrote about photography, including numerous articles on the photographer Lewis Hine (of whose work she organized a retrospective exhibition at the Riverside Museum in 1939), and was appointed to the Advisory Committee of the Museum of Modern Art's Department of Photography in 1944.
McCausland went on to organize other exhibitions, including a show of contemporary work, "The World of Today" (Berkshire Museum, 1939), shows of silk screen prints (Springfield Museum of Fine Arts, March 1940 and New York State Museum, Summer 1940), and a photography show, "Photography Today" (A.C.A. Gallery, 1944). In the late 1930s, she embarked upon a study of "the status of the artist in America from colonial times to the present, with especial attention to the relation between art and patronage," which continued over twenty years (and was never completed) and for which she received a Guggenheim fellowship in 1943.
In addition to her other writing, during the 1940s, McCausland carried out studies on the artists, E. L. Henry and George Inness, which resulted in exhibitions at the New York State Museum in 1942 and the George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum in 1946, respectively and publications (a report on Henry and a book on Inness). From 1948 to 1949, she carried out an extensive study of the painter, Alfred H. Maurer, organizing an exhibition, "A. H. Maurer: 1868-1932," which showed at the Walker Art Center and the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1949, and publishing the biography, A. H. Maurer, in 1951. In 1950, she worked as a special consultant on the American Processional exhibition at the Corcoran Gallery and as editor of the accompanying book. Shortly thereafter, she began a study of Marsden Hartley for a monograph, which was published in 1952, and she helped organize the Hartley exhibition at the University of Minnesota that same year. She continued the Hartley study on larger scale for a planned biography and catalogue raisonne; although she continued to work on it off and on for the next decade, the project was never completed.
McCausland published other books, including Careers in the Arts (1951), and undertook other research and consulting projects, such as photo-editing Carl Sandburg's Poems of the Midwest (1946), conducting surveys of art and advertising for an article in Magazine of Art and of art education for Cooper Union Art School, and contributing yearly articles on art to various encyclopedias. At different times throughout her career, she supplemented her income by taking teaching positions. She taught courses on art history at Sarah Lawrence College from 1942 to 1944 and at Barnard College in 1956, as well as courses at the Design Laboratory (1939) and the New School for Social Research (1946). She also gave numerous lectures and speeches on various art topics, and regularly participated in conferences and symposiums. Towards the end of her career, she was publishing less, but was still involved in many projects, most notably the Hartley study.
McCausland was a tireless promoter of the arts, and often an advocate for artists. Even though her work was well-known among certain art circles, she never received the recognition as a writer that she deserved. Nor was she ever able to free herself from the pressure of writing for a living. Continually suffering from poor health, she died on May 14, 1965.
Related material found in the Archives includes a sound recording from a symposium on Marsden Hartley, of which McCausland was a participant, held at the Portland Museum of Art in 1961. The Frank Kleinholz papers contain a recorded interview of McCausland done in 1944-1945 for radio station WNYC. Some of McCausland's correspondence is found in the G. Alan Chidsey papers; Chidsey served as a trustee of the Marsden Hartley estate.
Material separated from the collection includes some issues of Camera Work (Vol. 30, 47, 49/50), which were combined with other issues in an artificial collection created by the Archives at some earlier point.
Elizabeth McCausland donated the bulk of her papers in several installments from 1956 to 1961. An unknown donor, perhaps her literary executor, donated additional papers sometime after her death in 1965. It appears that McCausland originally donated her research files on Marsden Hartley, measuring 10 linear feet, to the Whitney Museum, who then lent them to the Archives for microfilming in 1966, and donated them sometime thereafter. McCausland originally donated files of newspaper clippings and offprints of her articles to the The New York Public Library, who gave them to the Archives in 1968. Additional McCausland material from the estate of Berenice Abbott was donated to the Archives in 2009.
Use of original papers requires an appointment and is limited to the Archives' Washington, D.C. Research Center. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Art historians -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
The scattered papers of art critic and writer Charles Henry Caffin measure 1.2 linear feet and date from circa 1883-1973, bulk circa 1883-1918. Found within the papers are an interview transcript, two letters, printed materials, one scrapbook, and family photographs dating from circa 1883 to circa 1911, many by noted photographers Arnold Genthe, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Gertrude Käsebier, Edward Steichen, and Alfred Stieglitz. The scrapbook contains Caffin's columns for the New York American, 1913-1915.
Scope and Content Note:
The scattered papers of art critic and writer Charles Henry Caffin measure 1.2 linear feet and date from circa 1883-1973. Found within the papers are an interview transcript, two letters, printed materials, one scrapbook, and family photographs dating from circa 1883 to circa 1911, many by noted photographers Arnold Genthe, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Gertrude Käsebier, Edward Steichen, and Alfred Stieglitz. The scrapbook contains Caffin's columns for the New York American, 1913-1915.
Biographical information includes an autograph book, and a transcript and written summary of a 1973 interview with Caffin's daughter, Donna Layton, conducted by Wanda Corn and Deborah Loft concerning Charles Henry Caffin. The two letters found within the papers are written to Caroline Caffin. Printed material consists of play announcements, a play written by Charles Rann Kennedy, and excerpts from a 1974 published book on photography mentioning Caffin.
Photographs are of the Caffin family, including Charles Henry, Caroline, Donna, Freda and Charles's mother Harlet. Also found are photographs of Ben Greet. Notable photographers include Arnold Genthe, Frances Benjamin Johnston, Gertrude Käsebier, Edward Steichen, and Alfred Stieglitz. There is one scrapbook containing Charles Henry Caffin's articles written for the New York American magazine from 1913-1915.
The collection is arranged into 5 series:
Series 1: Biographical Information, 1915, 1973 (Box 1; 2 folders)
Series 2: Correspondence, 1920 (Box 1; 1 folder)
Series 3: Printed Material, 1908, circa 1920, 1973 (Box 1; 3 folders)
Series 4: Photographs, circa 1883-circa 1910s (Box 1, 3-4; 0.6 linear feet)
Series 5: Scrapbooks, 1913-1915 (Box 2; 0.4 linear feet)
Charles Henry Caffin was born in 1854 in England. After graduating from Oxford University, Caffin served as stage manager for outdoor productions with Ben Greet and His Shakespearean Players. During this time, he met actress Caroline Scurfield, whom he later married and had two daughters, Freda and Donna. Caffin moved to United States in 1892 where he began to write about art, drama, and dance. He was an early supporter of the Photo-Secessionists and American modern art.
Initially, Caffin worked for several years executing murals from designs prepared by other artists for the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago and the new Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. Shortly thereafter, however, he began writing for Alfred Stieglitz's Camera Notes and later Camera Work. He moved to the New York City area and worked as a critic for the New York Evening Post, New York Sun, and later for the New York American. Caffin wrote many books about art, drama, and dance, including Photography as Fine Art (1901), American Masters of Painting (1902), How to Study Pictures (1905), and Art for Life's Sake (1913).
Charles Caffin died in 1918.
Donna Caffin Layton, daughter of Charles Caffin, donated most of the papers in 1974. Stephen D. Rockstroh, Caffin's son-in-law, donated additional material in 1985.
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Art critics -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Photographs of New York City taken by Berenice Abbott for the Federal Art Project of the Works Progress Administration and sponsored by the Museum of the City of New York. Included are exterior and occasional interior views of churches, business areas, stores, docks, bridges, public houses, residences, and theaters in Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. A list of titles, giving exact sites, accompanies the collection. The resulting Changing New York project contains 305 photographs supported by historical data compiled by her staff of researchers. In April 1939, E. P. Dutton & Co. published Changing New York, a guidebook aimed at visitors to the New York World's Fair, which included ninety-seven of Abbott's photographs with captions written by Elizabeth McCausland, an esteemed art critic and Abbott's companion.
Arranged by negative number.
Biographical / Historical:
Abbott was a photographer of New York, N.Y, born in 1898 in Springfield, Ohio; died Dec. 9, 1991.
Also in the Archives of American Art are the papers of Elizabeth McCausland which contain an additional set of photographic prints relating to Changing New York.
Donated anonymously 1957.
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.
Photographers -- New York (State) -- New York Search this
Photography -- New York (State) -- New York -- History -- 20th century Search this
The Leo Castelli Gallery records measure 215.9 linear feet and 0.001 GB and date from circa 1880-2000, with the bulk of the materials dating from the gallery's founding in 1957 through Leo Castelli's death in 1999. The major influence of dealer Leo Castelli and his gallery on the development of mid-to-late twentieth century modern art in America is well-documented through business and scattered personal correspondence, administrative files, exhibition files, extensive artists' files and printed materials, posters, awards and recognitions, photographs, and sound and video recordings. Also included are records for the subsidiary firms of Castelli Graphics and Castelli/Sonnabend Tapes and Films.
Scope and Content Note:
The Leo Castelli Gallery records measure 215.9 linear feet and 0.001 GB and date from circa 1880-2000, with the bulk of the materials dating from the gallery's founding in 1957 through Leo Castelli's death in 1999. The major influence of dealer Leo Castelli and his gallery on the development of mid-to-late twentieth century modern art in America is well-documented through business and scattered personal correspondence, administrative files, exhibition files, extensive artists' files and printed materials, posters, awards and recognitions, photographs, and audio and video recordings. Also included are records for the subsidiary firms of Castelli Graphics and Castelli/Sonnabend Tapes and Films.
The records document the gallery's daily business operations, exhibitions, spaces/buildings, collaborations and joint ventures with other galleries and museums, and its relationship with many artists, dealers, and clients. Artists particularly well-represented throughout the collection include Hanne Darboven, Dan Flavin, Jasper Johns, Donald Judd, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Richard Serra, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, and Lawrence Weiner.
Records pre-dating the gallery's establishment in 1957 are primarily newspaper and magazine clippings related to artists, personal photographs and photographs of works of art, and scattered personal business records of Leo Castelli.
General Correspondence is extensive at circa 25 linear feet and consists primarily of the gallery's and Leo Castelli's named and subject correspondence files concerning the gallery's daily operations, exhibitions, artwork installation and fabrication, appraisals, inquiries, loans, sales, consignments, personal and business relationships with artists, and other topics. The general correspondence is arranged either by name of correspondent or topic, and is with museums and galleries, collectors, business associates, artists, employees, and friends. Notes, scattered photographs and slides, and printed materials are often found as enclosures. Leo Castelli's personal correspondence is also found here and consists primarily of solicitations, requests for advice, notes of thanks, congratulations, and invitations.
Letters written by artists in the gallery's stable are somewhat limited. There are scattered letters from artists Christo, Chryssa, Nassos Daphnis, Hanne Darboven, Marisol, Dan Flavin, Jasper Johns, Frederick Kiesler, Robert Morris, Hans Namuth, Bruce Nauman, Nam June Paik, Ray Parker, James Rosenquist, Edward Ruscha, Salvatore Scarpitta, Frank Stella, Cy Twombly, and Jack Tworkov. There are also letters about artists in this series filed under the artists' name.
Collectors and dealers represented within the correspondence include the De Menil family, Mrs. Henry Epstein, Ben Heller, Giuseppe Panza, Alan Power, John and Kimiko Powers, Robert and Carolyn Rowan, Robert and Ethel Scull, and Burton and Emily Tremaine. Museums and galleries for which there is considerable correspondence includes the Dwan Gallery, Ferus Gallery, the Jewish Museum, Museum of Modern Art, Sidney Janis Gallery, Stedelijk Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Ileana Sonnabend Galerie.
The materials arranged in General Correspondence were originally marked by the gallery as "correspondence" files upon accessioning, and, are thus arranged into their own series. However, in some cases, there appears to be little difference between the General Correspondence and the Administrative Files. Thus, researchers are encouraged to reference both series.
Administrative Files document a wide variety of the gallery's activities and business. Essentially, these are files that were arranged by the gallery according to subject or topic and cover almost all activities except specific exhibitions. These files include records and correspondence about buildings and space, advertising, appraisals, auctions, consignments, loans, miscellaneous business correspondence, index cards, business arrangements with artists, information about artists, interviews with artists (transcripts), history of the gallery, mailings, photograph requests, shipping, and other topics. Few items are in digital format. There are staff notebooks and files and Leo Castelli's notebooks and notes from the late 1950s through the early 1990s. Extensive outgoing chronological correspondence filed in this series dates from 1964-1977. Also found are transcripts of interviews with Leo Castelli, biographical material, some of it in digital format, and scattered photographs.
Researchers should note that the Administrative Files often overlap and complement the General Correspondence. However, they focus slightly more distinctly on gallery business activities and are arranged mostly by subject or topic, except for the chronological business correspondence. Researchers are encouraged to reference both series. For example, correspondence with and about Jasper Johns may be found in both series, but the administrative files most likely focus on a specific loan, consignment, or business activity or transaction.
Exhibition files provide a thorough history of the gallery's exhibitions, as well as the fabrication and installation of artwork for exhibitions. These files include correspondence, exhibition catalogs, guest books, lists of exhibitions by artist and by year, press releases, sketches and notes, and scattered financial records. Photographs document over 650 exhibitions at Leo Castelli Gallery, including The Ninth Street Show organized by Castelli in 1951, and over 200 exhibitions at other galleries.
Extensive artists' files comprise approximately 40% of the records and are a rich resource of printed and compiled information about the careers of over 120 artists and their relationship with Leo Castelli and the gallery. There are exhibition announcements and catalogs, flyers, invitations, magazine articles and clippings, newspaper clippings, posters, press releases, photographs, and a handful of books. Nearly half of the series is comprised of black and white photographs of artwork, presumably handled by the Leo Castelli Gallery.
Additional printed materials include exhibition announcements, flyers, invitations, magazine articles and clippings, newspaper clippings, press releases, and exhibition posters. Exhibition catalogs are filed with the exhibitions files. The general archives files provide a chronological history of the gallery and its exhibitions. There are also files concerning Leo Castelli and numerous art-related topics. Exhibition posters are found here as well.
Artwork is limited and includes a few works of art and signed posters. Artists represented here include photographer Gianfranco Gorgoni, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Richard Serra and Andy Warhol, as well as others.
The records of the subsidiary Castelli Graphics New York consist of correspondence and administrative files relating to general operations and the sale and loan of prints. Also found are exhibition files, sales records, and scattered financial records. The series provides a wealth of information about Castelli Graphics collaborations with Multiples Inc. in the 1970s.
Also found in the collection are records of Castelli/Sonnabend Tapes and Films, a joint business venture between Leo Castelli Gallery and Sonnabend Gallery from 1974-1985. Records include correspondence, administrative files, exhibition files, artists' files, printed materials, sales and rental records, photographs, and financial records.
The importance and stature of Leo Castelli and the Leo Castelli Gallery to the arts community in New York City and beyond is documented by numerous awards and recognitions, such as framed and unframed certificates, plaques, statues, medals, and scattered photographs.
Nearly seven linear feet of photographs include professional black and white original prints, scattered color photographs, color transparencies, slides and negatives, and disassembled photo albums. The photographs primarily depict social and art events and functions; family and friends of Leo Castelli; and portraits of Leo Castelli and artists and of Leo Castelli with artists, including Richard Artschwager, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Bruce Nauman, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Salvatore Scarpitta, Richard Serra, Frank Stella, and Andy Warhol. Photographs of exhibitions and exhibition installations are filed with the exhibition files.
Sound and video recordings include sound and video art, performances, interviews with artists and Leo Castelli, recordings from and of exhibitions, and television publicity recorded on sound cassettes, phonograph records (vinyl and lacquer), videocassettes (U-matic, VHS, Betamax), and videocartridges. Artists represented include Vito Acconci, Robert Barry, Barbara Bloom, Hannah Collins, Hanne Darboven, Dan Flavin, Laura Grisi, Jasper Johns, Jeff Koons, Roy Lichtenstein, Bruce Nauman, Claes Oldenburg, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha, Salvatore Scarpitta, Doug and Mike Starn, and Lawrence Weiner, among others.
See Index for list of Exhibitions at the Leo Castelli Gallery and Castelli Graphics
The collection is arranged as 11 series:
Series 1: Correspondence, 1948-1999, bulk 1957-1997 (24.4 linear feet; Boxes 1-23, 191, OVs 233-236)
Series 2: Administrative Files, 1941-1999, bulk 1970s-1990s (17.3 linear feet; Boxes 24-39, 192-193, OVs 237-238, 0.001 GB; ER01-ER02)
Series 3: Exhibition Files, 1951-1999, bulk 1957-1998 (18.7 linear feet; Boxes 40-56, 192, 194-196, 308-309, OVs 239-241, 280)
Series 4: Artists Files, 1913-1999, bulk 1960s-1990s (80.8 linear feet; Boxes 57-133, 197-208, OVs 242-243)
Series 5: Printed Materials, 1949-1998 (23.5 linear feet; Boxes 134-153, 209-211, OVs 244-274, 276, 300, RDs 301-306)
Series 6: Artwork, circa 1960s-1990s (1.8 linear feet; Boxes 153, 212-213, OVs 275, 277-278, RD 307)
Series 7: Castelli Graphics, circa 1950-1999, bulk mid 1970s-early 1990s (16 linear feet; Boxes 154-169)
Series 8: Castelli/Sonnabend Tapes + Films, 1969-1998 (5.6 linear feet; Boxes 170-174, 214, OVs 279-281)
Series 9: Awards and Recognition, 1962-1998 (6.9 linear feet; Boxes 175-176, 215-228, OVs 282)
Series 10: Photographs, circa 1880-1997, bulk 1960s-1990s (6.6 linear feet; Boxes 177-180, 229-231, OVs 283-299)
Series 11: Sound and Video Recordings, 1959-2000 (9.7 linear feet; Boxes 181-190, 232)
Leo Castelli (1907-1999) was one of America's most noted contemporary art dealers and opened the Leo Castelli Gallery in New York City in 1957. The gallery showcased cutting edge American contemporary art, including Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, Neo-Dada, Pop Art, Op Art, Color Field painting, Hard-edge painting, Lyrical Abstraction, Minimal Art, Conceptual Art, and Neo-expressionism, among other movements.
Leo Castelli was born as Leo Krauss on September 4, 1907 in Trieste, of Italian and Austro-Hungarian Jewish origin. He married art dealer Ileana Sonnabend in 1932 and the couple lived in Paris up until World War II. They had a daughter, Nina Castelli Sundell. In Paris, Castelli opened his first gallery in 1939. At that time, he was interested in the European Surrealists.
For years after Castelli moved to New York, he worked in his father-in-law's garment business. However, he organized his first American exhibition in 1951, the famous Ninth Street Show of 1951, a seminal event of Abstract Expressionism.
In 1957, he opened the Leo Castelli Gallery in his townhome on E. 77th Street between Madison and Fifth Avenues in New York City. Castelli initially featured European Surrealism, but also curated exhibitions of American Abstract painters, including Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, Cy Twombly, Friedel Dzubas, and Norman Bluhm.
In 1958, Castelli discovered Pop artists Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns and forged a life-long nurturing relationship with both artists. The gallery then began focusing more on Pop Art, Minimalism and Conceptual Art. Beginning in the early 1960s, Castelli's stable included Richard Artschwager, Lee Bontecou, Chryssa, John Chamberlain, Ronald Davis, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd, Ellsworth Kelly, Joseph Kosuth, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Morris, Bruce Nauman, Larry Poons, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha, Salvatore Scarpitta, Richard Serra, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, and Lawrence Weiner.
Leo and Ileana divorced in 1959, and Ileana returned to Europe. She later moved back to New York and opened a gallery close to Castelli's. The two remained close and together they established the joint venture of Castelli-Sonnabend Films and Tapes to accommodate artists interested in new media.
In the 1970s Leo Castelli opened a downtown SoHo branch of the Leo Castelli Gallery at 420 West Broadway. In the 1980s he opened a second larger downtown exhibition space on Greene Street also in SoHo.
Leo Castelli's second wife was Antoinette Castelli, with whom he also opened Castelli Graphics, an art gallery devoted to prints and photographs, mostly those by Castelli artists. The couple also had a son together, Jean-Christophe Castelli. In 1995 Leo Castelli married Italian art historian Barbara Bertozzi Castelli. She directs the Leo Castelli Gallery today, showing many of the same artists of the gallery's past.
Leo Castelli's unparalleled eye for quality, combined with his extraordinary skill for nurturing and promoting new art and artists, secured his position as one of the most respected and influential advocates of contemporary art for nearly five decades.
List of Exhibitions:
Below is a chronological listing of over 850 exhibitions and events held at the Leo Castelli Gallery from 1957 to 1999; included are exhibitions at 4 E 77 St (1957-1989), 65 Thompson (1989-1994), 108th St Warehouse (1968-1970), 142 Greene St (1980-1988), 420 W Broadway (1971-1999), and 578 Broadway (1988-1997). Castelli Graphics exhibitions from 1969-1996 and Castelli/Sonnabend Tapes and Films exhibitions from 1974-1984 are also included and are noted when known.
Note that this list is not comprehensive. In particular, Castelli Graphics exhibitions from the 1980s and early 1990s are incomplete. Sources used to compile this index include exhibition schedules and lists, installation photographs, announcements, clippings, and other printed materials from the Leo Castelli Gallery records, and the Leo Castelli Gallery website (www.castelligallery.com).
Exhibitions are listed in chronological order by title, if known, and gallery address.
1957 SeasonFeb. -- First Exhibition: de Kooning, Delaunay, Dubuffet, Giacometti, Hartley, Leger, Mondrian, Picabia, Pollock, David Smith, van Doesburg; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 4-23, 1957 -- Jon Schueler; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 25 - Apr. 13, 1957 -- Viseux; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 15 - May 4, 1957 -- Paul Brach; 4 E 77 St
May 6-25, 1957 -- New Work: Bluhm, Budd, Dzubas, Johns, Leslie, Louis, Marisol, Ortman, Rauschenberg, Savelli; 4 E 77 St
1957-1958 SeasonOct. 1-26, 1957 -- Norman Bluhm; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 28 - Nov. 16, 1957 -- Horia Damian; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 18 - Dec. 14, 1957 -- Marisol; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 17, 1957 - Jan. 18, 1958 -- Collector's Annual; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 20 - Feb. 8, 1958 -- Jasper Johns; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 10 - Mar. 1, 1958 -- Friedel Dzubas; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 4-29, 1958 -- Robert Rauschenberg; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 1-26, 1958 -- Giuseppe Capogrossi; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 29 - May 31, 1958 -- Pioneers 1910-1950: de Kooning, Delaunay, Domela, Dubuffet, Giacometti, Hartley, Kandinsky, Leger, Miro, Picabia, Pollock, Schwitters, Smith, van Doejburg; 4 E 77 St
1958-1959 SeasonSept. 30 - Oct. 25, 1958 -- Angelo Savelli; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 28 - Nov. 22, 1958 -- Group Exhibition: Bluhm, Brach, Dzubas, Johns, Marisol, Rauschenberg, Schueler; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 25 - Dec. 20, 1958 -- Esteban Vicente, Drawings; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 6-24, 1959 -- Nassos Daphnis; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 27 - Feb. 14, 1959 -- Salvatore Scarpitta, Extramurals; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 17 - Mar. 7, 1959 -- Al Newbill; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 10-28, 1959 -- Gabriel Kohn; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 31 - Apr. 18, 1959 -- Norman Bluhm, Jean Dubuffet, and Robert Rauschenberg; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 21 - May 9, 1959 -- Jon Schueler; 4 E 77 St
May 12-30, 1959 -- Group Exhibition: Brach, Dzubas, Johns, Sander, Twombly; 4 E 77 St
1959-1960 SeasonOct. 6-17, 1959 -- Opening Exhibition of the New Gallery: Bluhm, Brach, Daphnis, Johns, Kohn, Rauschenberg, Sander, Scarpitta, Stella, Twombly; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 20 - Nov. 7, 1959 -- Work in Three Dimensions: Chamberlain, Follet, Giles, Johns, Klein, Kohn, Marisol, Nevelson, Ortman, Rauschenberg, Scarpitta; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 10-28, 1959 -- Ludwig Sander; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 1-26, 1959 -- Paul Brach; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 5-23, 1960 -- William Giles; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 26 - Feb. 13, 1960 -- Norman Bluhm; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 15 - Mar. 5, 1960 -- Jasper Johns; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 8-26, 1960 -- Nassos Daphnis; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 29 - Apr. 16, 1960 -- Robert Rauschenberg; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 19 - May 7, 1960 -- Salvatore Scarpitta; 4 E 77 St
May 10-28, 1960 -- Edward Higgins; 4 E 77 St
May 31 - June 25, 1960 -- Summary 1959-1960: Bluhm, Bontecou, Daphnis, Higgins, Johns, Kohn, Langlais, Rauschenberg, Sander, Scarpitta, Stella, Twombly, Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
1960-1961 SeasonSept. 27 - Oct. 15, 1960 -- Frank Stella; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 18 - Nov. 5, 1960 -- Cy Twombly; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 9 - Dec. 3, 1960 -- Lee Bontecou; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 6, 1960 - Jan. 7, 1961 -- Robert Rauschenberg, 34 Illustrations for Dante's Inferno; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 10-28, 1961 -- Frederick Kiesler; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 31 - Feb. 25, 1961 -- Jasper Johns, Drawings and Sculpture; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 28 - Mar. 18, 1961 -- Jack Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 21 - Apr. 8, 1961 -- Bernard Langlais; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 11-29, 1961 -- Yves Klein, Le Monochrome; 4 E 77 St
May 2-20, 1961 -- Ludwig Sander; 4 E 77 St
May 23 - June , 1961 -- Sculpture and Relief: Bontecou, Chamberlain, Higgins, Scarpitta; 4 E 77 St
1961-1962 SeasonSept. 22 - Oct. 14, 1961 -- An Exhibition in Progress: Bontecou, Chamberlain, Daphnis, Higgins, Johns, Langlais, Moskowitz, Rauschenberg, Scarpitta, Stella, Twombly, Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 17 - Nov. 4, 1961 -- Nassos Daphnis; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 7 - Dec. 5, 1961 -- Robert Rauschenberg; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 8, 1961 - Jan. 10, 1962 -- Group Exhibition: Bontecou, Johns, Langlais, [Lichtenstein], Scarpitta, Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 13 - Feb. 6, 1962 -- John Chamberlain; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 10 - Mar. 3, 1962 -- Roy Lichtenstein; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 10 - Apr. 5, 1962 -- Robert Moskowitz; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 7-21, 1962 -- Group Exhibition: Bontecou, Chamberlain, Daphnis, Higgins, Rauschenberg, Scarpitta, Stella; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 28 - May 19, 1962 -- Frank Stella; 4 E 77 St
May 26 - June 30, 1962 -- Drawings: Bontecou, Johns, Lichtenstein, Moskowitz, Rauschenberg, Stella, Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
1962-1963 SeasonSept. 22 - Oct. 13, 1962 -- Group Exhibition: Chamberlain, Higgins, Johns, Klapheck, Rauschenberg, Scarpitta, Stella, Tinguely, Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 16 - Nov. 7, 1962 -- John Chamberlain and Frank Stella; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 10 - Dec. 6, 1962 -- Lee Bontecou; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 8, 1962 - Jan. 9, 1963 -- Gerald van de Wiele; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 12 - Feb. 7, 1963 -- Jasper Johns; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 9 - Mar. 7, 1963 -- Jack Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 9-30, 1963 -- Nassos Daphnis; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 2-25, 1963 -- Group Exhibition: Chamberlain, Higgins, Kiesler, Lichtenstein, Moskowitz, Rauschenberg, Stella, Twombly; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 27 - May 16, 1963 -- Salvatore Scarpitta; 4 E 77 St
May 20 - June 30, 1963 -- Group Drawing Exhibition: Bontecou, Daphnis, Johns, Lichtenstein, Moskowitz, Rauschenberg, Stella, Tworkov, van de Wiele; 4 E 77 St
1963-1964 SeasonSept. 28 - Oct. 24, 1963 -- Roy Lichtenstein; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 26 - Nov. 21, 1963 -- Robert Rauschenberg; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 23, 1963 - Jan. 2, 1964 -- Edward Higgins; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 4 - Feb. 6, 1964 -- Frank Stella; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 8 - Mar. 12, 1964 -- Group Exhibition: Chamberlain, Johns, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, Stella; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 14 - Apr. 9, 1964 -- Cy Twombly; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 11-30, 1964 -- John Chamberlain; 4 E 77 St
May 2 - June 3, 1964 -- Introducing Artschwager, Christo, Hay, Watts; 4 E 77 St
June 6-30, 1964 -- Group Exhibition: Chamberlain, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg, Scarpitta, Stella, Twombly, Tworkov; 4 E 77 St
1964-1965 SeasonSept. 26 - Oct. 22, 1964 -- Group Exhibition: Artschwager, Lichtenstein, Rosenquist, Stella, Warhol; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 24 - Nov. 19, 1964 -- Roy Lichtenstein, Landscapes; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 21 - Dec. 28, 1964 -- Andy Warhol, Flower Paintings; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 9-27, 1965 -- John Chamberlain, Paintings; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 30 - Feb. 24, 1965 -- Richard Artschwager; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 27 - Mar. 24, 1965 -- Nassos Daphnis; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 27 - Apr. 14, 1965 -- Salvatore Scarpitta, Racing Cars; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 17 - May 13, 1965 -- James Rosenquist, F-111; 4 E 77 St
May 15 - June 9, 1965 -- Robert Rauschenberg, Oracle; 4 E 77 St
1965-1966 SeasonOct. 2-21, 1965 -- Group Exhibition: [Chamberlain], Johns, Lichtenstein, Poons, Rauschenberg, Stella, [Warhol]; 4 E 77 St
Oct. 23 - Nov. 17, 1965 -- Robert Bart; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 20 - Dec. 11, 1965 -- Roy Lichtenstein, Brushstrokes and Ceramics; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 14, 1965 - Jan. 5, 1966 -- Benefit Drawing Exhibition for the Foundation for the Contemporary Performance Arts; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 14, 1965 - Jan. 5, 1966 -- Group Exhibition; 4 E 77 St
Jan. 8 - Feb. 2, 1966 -- Jasper Johns; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 5 - Mar. 2, 1966 -- Donald Judd; 4 E 77 St
Feb. 12 - Mar. 2, 1966 -- Cy Twombly, Drawings; 4 E 77 St
Mar. 5 - Apr. 2, 1966 -- Frank Stella; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 6-27, 1966 -- Andy Warhol, Wallpaper and Clouds; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 30 - May 25, 1966 -- James Rosenquist; 4 E 77 St
May 28 - June 13, 1966 -- Christo, Storefront; 4 E 77 St
June 14-30, 1966 -- Group Exhibition: Bontecou, Johns, Judd, Lichtenstein, Poons, Rauschenberg, Rosenquist, Stella, Warhol; 4 E 77 St
1966-1967 SeasonOct. 8 - Nov. 8, 1966 -- Lee Bontecou; 4 E 77 St
Nov. 12 - Dec. 3, 1966 -- Edward Higgins; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 6-10, 1966 -- Benefit Group Exhibition for Experiments in Art and Technology, Inc.; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 7, 1966 - Jan. 5, 1967 -- Stanley Landsman; 4 E 77 St
Dec. 14, 1966 - Jan. 5, 1967 -- Group Exhibition: Artschwager, Lichtenstein, Rosenquist, Warhol; 4 E 77 St
Apr. 20 - May 18, 1996 -- James Rosenquist, Horizon Home Sweet Home; 420 W Broadway
Apr. 20 - May 24, 1996 -- Roy Lichtenstein, Eight New Prints; 578 Broadway
May 28 - July 26, 1996 -- Ralph Gibson, Infanta; 420 W Broadway
May 28 - July 26, 1996 -- Group Drawing Exhibition, Works on Paper: Chryssa, Daphnis, Darboven, Johns, Lichtenstein, Morris, Nauman, Rauschenberg, Ruscha, Serra, Stella, Sonnier, Therrien, Weiner; 420 W Broadway
June 1 - July 26, 1996 -- Summer Group Show: Johns, Kosuth, Lichtenstein, Ruscha, Stella, Therrien; 578 Broadway
1996-1997 SeasonSept. 14 - Oct. 12, 1996 -- Gianfranco Gorgoni, 25 Years of Artists Portraits; 578 Broadway
Feb. 15 - Mar. 15, 1997 -- Lawrence Weiner, Then Now + Then; 420 W Broadway
Mar. 1-22, 1997 -- Dan Flavin; 578 Broadway
Mar. 22 - Apr. 26, 1997 -- Keith Sonnier, Alternating Currents; 420 W Broadway
Mar. 29 - Apr. 5, 1997 -- The Printmaking Workshop Benefit Exhibition and Auction; 420 W Broadway
Apr. 17 - May 17, 1997 -- Columbia University MFA Exhibition; 420 W Broadway
May 3 - June 7, 1997 -- Edward Ruscha, Cityscapes and "O" Books; 420 W Broadway
July - Sept., 1997 -- Summer Group Show: Kosuth, Morris, Serra; 420 W Broadway
1997-1998 SeasonSept. 27 - Oct. 18, 1997 -- Joseph Kosuth; 420 W Broadway
Oct. 25 - Nov. 15, 1997 -- 40 Years of Exploration and Innovation Part 1: Bontecou, Chryssa, Cornell, Johns, Lichtenstein, Oldenburg, Rauschenberg, Rosenquist, Ruscha, Twombly, Warhol; 420 W Broadway
Nov. 22 - Dec. 13, 1997 -- 40 Years of Exploration and Innovation Part 2: Daphnis, Flavin, Judd, Kelly, Morris, Serra, Stella, Therrien, Waldman; 420 W Broadway
Jan. 10-31, 1998 -- 40 Years of Exploration and Innovation Part 3: Barry, Darboven, Dibbets, Grisi, Huebler, Kosuth, Nauman, Scarpitta, Sonnier, Starn Twins, Weiner; 420 W Broadway
Feb. 7 - Mar. 14, 1998 -- Dan Flavin, Some Drawings and Installations of Fluorescent Light; 420 W Broadway
Mar. 28 - Apr. 25, 1998 -- Hannah Collins, True Stories; 420 W Broadway
May 2 - June 6, 1998 -- Mike and Doug Starn, Black Hole Sun Burned; 420 W Broadway
June 24 - Aug. 29, 1998 -- Summer Show; 420 W Broadway
1998-1999 SeasonSept. 26 - Oct. 31, 1998 -- Robert Morris, The Rationed Years; 420 W Broadway
Nov. - Dec., 1998 -- Joseph Kosuth, Richard Serra, Keith Sonnier; 420 W Broadway
Jan. - Feb. 1999 -- Robert Rauschenberg, Arcadian Survey; 420 W Broadway
Available in the Archives of America Art are three oral history interviews with Leo Castelli. Paul Cummings interviewed Castelli between May 14, 1969 and June 8, 1973; Barbara Rose in July, 1969; and Andrew Decker on May 22, 1997.
The Archives of American Art also holds items lent for microfilming (reel N68) including printed material. Lent material was returned to the lender and is not described in the collection container inventory.
Leo Castelli loaned printed material for microfilming in 1968. Leo Castelli's wife, Barbara Bortuzzo Castelli, and his children, Nina Castelli Sundell and Jean-Christophe Castelli, donated the Leo Castelli Gallery records to the Archives of American Art in 2007.
Use of original records requires an appointment.
The collection contains: twenty-nine silver gelatin photoprints mounted on Fome-Core, Masonite, and cardboard, ranging in size from 5-1/2" x 9-1/4" to 10-11/16" x 13-13/16"; three 5" x 7" unmounted silver gelatin photoprints; a scrapbook which originally contained 56 silver gelatin photoprints, ranging in size from 2" x 3" to 7-1/2" x 9-1/2"; and silver gelatin film negatives (presumably acetate) for the prints. The scrapbook includes a New York Daily News clipping about Rivers: "Builds a Bridge to Students" by Anthony Burton (dated May 12, 1970 by Rivers) with a photograph showing him speaking to a crowd,
Most of the photographs depict the construction of the Chrysler and Empire State Buildings--iron workers on the job and relaxing during breaks, and pictures of the buildings at various stages of completion. Other subjects are: a demonstration to prevent World War II (1935), a color photoprint of the Civil Rights March and Demonstration in Washington, D.C. (1963), and two magazine clippings from a Soviet publication, New Times, in which Rivers's prize-winning "Self Portrait" (1930) was reproduced.
Most of these prints were made by Charles Rivers many years after the creation of the original negatives, probably ca.1970s 1980s. The collection is in generally good condition, except that many of the print surfaces are scratched.
Biographical / Historical:
Charles Rivers created a certain amount of confusion about his origins, whether accidentally or intentionally. Born Constantinos Kapornaros (or Kostandinos Kapernaros) in the small town of Vahos in Mani, an isolated area in the southern Peloponnesian region of Greece, on May 20, 1904, he emigrated to the United States as a child of five or six with his parents. His school record showed that he was enrolled in 1911 at the age of seven. The family lived in Maine or New Hampshire, then Massachusetts, and later other locations in New York state. It is believed that his new name was derived from the Charles River in Boston. The change may have been occasioned by a need to conceal his deep involvement in left-wing political and union activities.
Mr. Rivers settled in New York City in 1950 and resided there until 1993. He sometimes identified his birthplace as Denver, Colorado, but this may have been a fabrication or simplification, based on the fact that Greek church baptismal records were kept in Denver. His sons James and Ronald believe that he never became an official American citizen. Late in life, in order to visit his birthplace, he was issued a passport, based on his school records, which stated that he was born in Denver.
Rivers photographed the construction of the Chrysler Building (1929) and the Empire State Building (1930) in New York City. He was inspired to take up photography by seeing the work of the influential documentary photographer Lewis Hine, whose famous images of working children helped win passage of protective child labor laws. Rivers and Hine both photographed the Empire State Building and the men building it, yet Rivers apparently was unaware until years later that his idol had been present. Employed as an iron worker, Rivers traded his pail of tools for a Zeiss Ikon camera during his lunch hour or when photographic opportunities arose. While the workers depicted in some of the photographs clearly are aware of the photographer's presence, Rivers's project presumably was conducted more or less surreptitiously. It is not known for certain if the paths of Rivers and Hine ever crossed, but his son Ron considers it unlikely: Hine photographed only the Empire State Building in connection with his "Men at Work" project, not the earlier Chrysler Building, and Rivers did not work on the Empire State Building for a very long period. His self-portrait on the Empire State Building, "The Bolter-Up," may have been intended as a memento during one of his last days on that job.
Rivers became unemployed in the Depression and consequently became involved in national efforts to create Social Security, unemployment insurance, and housing programs. These experiences apparently encouraged his active participation in politically leftist activities, as coverage about him in Soviet publications attests. A pacifist, in 1935 he was involved in demonstrations aimed at preventing World War II, and in the 1960s he took part in anti-Vietnam demonstrations and encouraged young people to continue such resistance.
In the 1950s Rivers worked in steel fabrication, in a chemistry lab as a technician, and briefly as a legislative aide for a New York state senator.
In 1986 Rivers submitted his 1930 self-portrait, posed on the Chrysler Building, to the International Year of Peace art contest sponsored by the New Times, published in Moscow: it was awarded a prize and diploma.
Mr. Rivers died in 1993, only two weeks after moving to Arlington, Texas to enter a nursing home near his sons' homes.
1. The page on Rivers in New York University=s Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives web site (http://laborarts.org/collections/item.cfm?itemid=82) --noted 5 June 2002), claims Rivers was born in 1905 and changed his name Ato resemble those of the Mohawk Indians working on the high steel of New York City=s skyscrapers and bridges".
2. This spelling is given in an e-mail from James Rivers to Helen Plummer, Aug. 19, 2002.
4. Telephone conversation between Ron Rivers and the author, 6 June 2002. Additional information was provided by Ron Rivers in electronic mail messages, 5 June and 12 June 2002.
5. James Rivers, op. cit.
6. Telephone conversation with Ron Rivers, 6 June 2002.
7. In a biographical statement for the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art (copy supplied by Helen Plummer), Charles Rivers called Denver his birthplace. The George Eastman House photographer database also included this apparently erroneous information, probably derived from the Amon Carter statement (telephone conversation with Helen Plummer, 3 June 2002).
8. Ron Rivers, telephone conversation, 6 June 2002.
9. Identified by Charles Rivers as the camera used in the skyscraper photographs: interview by Carol Sewell, "Photographer looked at U.S. from high view," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dec. 27, 1986. Rivers also used a Rolleiflex, according to Ron Rivers (see note above), but the folding Zeiss Ikon camera would have been a more convenient addition to a lunchbox than the bulkier Rolleiflex. The collection negatives are not in the Rolleiflex square format, moreover.
10. See Judith Mara Gutman, Lewis W. Hine and the American social conscience. New York: Walker, 1967.
11. Ron Rivers, telephone conversation, 6 June 2002.
Materials at the Smithsonian Institution
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Included Rivers's self-portrait, "The Bolter Up," in its summer 2002 exhibition, "Metropolis in the Machine Age," in the form of a new print made from a digital copy of the Archives Center's original negative. The author discussed the new print from the Rivers negative and other photographs in this exhibition in an invited gallery lecture, "The Skyscraper Photographs of Lewis Hine and Charles Rivers," Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, June 6, 2002.
Materials at Other Organizations
Amon Carter Museum, Fort Worth, Texas
See Barbara McCandless and John Rohrbach, Singular moments: photographs from the Amon Carter Museum, with select entries by Helen Plummer. Reproduction of a Rivers photograph, with description and analysis, p. 30. Additional information has been generously supplied by Ms. Plummer, curatorial associate, and Barbara McCandless, curator of photography, Amon Carter Museum of Western Art, Fort Worth Texas.
Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives at New York University
Museum of the City of New York
Some of his photographs were included in the Amon Carter Museum of Western Art exhibition, "Looking at America: Documentary Photographs of the 1930s and 1940s," December 1986.
The collection is a gift from Mr. Charles Rivers, 1989.
Collection is open for research.
Archives Center claims copyright. Rights were conveyed to the Archives Center through a Deed of Gift signed by the donor.
The collection contains business records and photographic materials documenting the International Salt Company. The business records include correspondence, account and ledger books, a payroll book, patent and trademark information, print advertising and marketing materials, and a salesman salt display kit. The photographic materials include a series of photographs by William M. Rittase, a series of photographs by Harold Haliday Costain, a small photograph album, snapshots, and slides. The images cover all facets of the salt manufacturing and packaging operations, and include photographs taken in New York State, Michigan, and Louisiana.
Scope and Contents:
The collection contains business records and photographic materials documenting the International Salt Company. The business records include correspondence, account and ledger books, a payroll book, patent and trademark information, print advertising and marketing materials, and a salesman salt display kit. The photographic materials include a series of photographs by William M. Rittase, a series of photographs by Harold Haliday Costain, a small photograph album, snapshots, and slides. The images cover all facets of the salt manufacturing and packaging operations, and include photographs taken in New York State, Michigan, and Louisiana.
The scrapbooks contain advertisements for the International Salt Company's Sterling Salt label and other leading salt companies, especially Morton's. Much of the ephemera consists of labels, but there are also small pamphlet cookbooks. The cookbooks, prepared and marketed by various salt companies, tout recipes for tasty dishes using specific salts and expound upon the merits of salt in general, especially the medical benefits. Other clever salt-related advertising appears in conjunction with maps, buttons, song books, calendars, and health exercises.
Series 1, Business Records, 1894-1937, consists primarily of financial materials--ledgers, cash books, monthly statements, timekeeping and payroll information--for the Avery Rock Salt Mining Company (A.R.S.M.Co.), Detroit Rock Salt Company, Detroit Salt Company, International Salt Company, and the Restof Mining Company. Additionally, there is one annual report for the International Salt Company (1957) and the newsletter Saltmaker, 1964.
There are two A.R.S.M.Co. ledgers, 1898-1907 and 1907-1922. The first ledger, 1898-1907, predates the founding of the International Salt Company, and it is likely that A.R.S.M.Co was absorbed by International Salt during a merger. Documentation recorded including inventories, merchandise, labor, surplus, insurance, office expenses, legal expenses, taxes, bills receivable, directors' committee fees, fuel, candles, oil, waste and packing, rental, repairs and maintenance, interest, labor, feed, outside salary account, Cuban consignment account, and loan account. Specific persons, such as superintendents F. Rundio and Sidney Bradford, are mentioned and specific companies including Restof Mining, Joy Morton Company, Havana Mill, G. Lawton Childs & Company, International Salt of New York and various others (pages 193-212), are listed with expenses.
The Detroit Salt Company (general ledger), 1911-1913, consists of one bound volume documenting the company's assets, liabilities, expenses, earnings, advance accounts, and old accounts.
Detroit Rock Salt Company (cash record), 1912 October-1913 January, consists of one bound volume documenting cash received and cash disbursed.
International Salt Company, Inc., Independent Salt Company Division (monthly statements), 1933 October-1937 December, consists of one bound volume of general ledger trial balance sheets organized chronologically. Detailed documentation includes general expenses, assets, capital assets, liabilities, special reserves, net worth, profit and loss statements, warehousing costs and tonnage purchased.
Restof Mining Company (time and payroll), 1894 July 1-1895 March 31, consists of one bound volume of 400 pages, documenting the time and payroll for employees. The volume contains the name of the employee, the number of days worked, hourly wage earned per day, the amount earned, advances, board due, store (supplies due), rent, and any balances due. A portion of the volume is severely water-damaged.
Series 2, Trademarks, 1881-1935, consists of copies of issued trademark declarations from the United States Patent Office. The trademarks are for company names, logos, salt containers and packages, and various salt products. The trademarks are arranged alphabetically by the name of the trademark. For example, Amaessa, a trademark for baking powder and salt is filed with other trademarks beginning with the letter "A." Additional materials consist of one file folder of correspondence and printed materials about patents, trademarks and copyright laws. The correspondence relates specifically to the ownership of certain trademarks by International Salt Company, and there is correspondence from John L. Ryon, assistant sales manager and W.T. Chisolm, vice-president of International Salt Company. There are compiled lists of brand names, trademarks, and package designs for which International Salt registered at the United States Patent Office, 1926-1927. There are two examples of small cloth bags branded with "Ideal Salt" and some packaging, such as "White Lily High Grade Salt" and labels such as "Purex Free Running Table Salt." The Peter J.L. Searing trademark for salt (No. 52,963) and Chicago Sawed Salt-Block Company (No. 15,174) provide examples of ethnic imagery. A trademark is a brand name. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination used or intended to be used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one seller or provider from those of others, and to indicate the source of the goods/services. Although federal registration of a mark is not mandatory, it has several advantages, including notice to the public of the registrant's claim of ownership of the mark, legal presumption of ownership nationwide, and exclusive right to use the mark on or in connection with the goods/services listed in the registration.
Series 3, Photographs, 1934-1993, is divided into five subseries: Subseries 1, Harold Haliday Costain, 1934; Subseries 2, William Ritasse, circa 1934; Subseries 3, Loose Photographs, 1969-1993; Subseries 4, Slides, circa 1970s; and Subseries 5, Album (unidentified), undated.
Subseries 1, Harold Haliday Costain, circa 1934, consists of three photographs (approximately 10 1/2" x 13") black-and-white prints mounted to 16" x 20" boards. The prints are numbered #6, #42, and #44 and depict a salt mine and equipment used in salt manufacturing located in Avery Island, Louisiana.
Subseries 2, William Ritasse, circa 1934, consists of black-and-white prints (10" x 14") signed by Ritasse which are mounted on 18 1/2" x 20" boards. The photographs are arranged numerically from #350 to #480. Many of the photographs are captioned. American photographer William Rittase (1887-1968), active in the 1920s-1930s, is known for his industrial photography. Rittase's images provide insight into International Salt Company activities such as salt manufacturing, packaging operations, general factory processes, printing salt bags, can labeling, brine storage, exteriors of buildings, crushing salt, men in the salt mines, machine shop views, and equipment.
Subseries 3, Loose Photographs, 1969-1993, consists of black-and-white and color prints, as well as transparencies depicting salt mines and related activities. Some of the photographs document a visit by International Salt Company executives to the Jefferson Island, Louisiana salt plant.
Subseries 4, Slides, circa 1970s, consists of seventeen color slides documenting salt plants, equipment and salt miners.
Subseries 5, Album (damaged mine), undated, consists of twenty-two 4" x 6 1/2" black-and-white photographs documenting the damage to a salt manufacturing plant. The photographs are captioned, but there is no indication of the geographic location of the salt plant.
Series 4, Advertising and Marketing Materials, 1920-1948, consists of two scrapbooks (14" x 17" and 11" x 16") that contain primarily tear sheets, unbound periodical pages showing an advertisement as printed, or as a proof, newspaper clippings, magazine clippings, correspondence, pamphlets, price lists, recipes, labels, periodicals, and other ephemera.
The scrapbook, 1920-1931, consists primarily of advertisements and newspaper clippings related to advertising salt products, especially for Morton's Salt and Diamond Crystal Salt. Other companies represented include Colonial Salt Company, Carey Salt Company, Jefferson Island Salt Company, Kerr Salt Company, Mulkey Salt Company, Myles Salt Company, Ohio Salt Company, Pennsylvania Salt Manufacturing Company, Remington Salt Company, Star Salt Corporation, Union Salt Company, Worcester Salt Company, and Watkins Salt Company.
The scrapbook from 1945-1948 is devoted to advertisements for the International Salt Company and Sterling Salt, which promoted salt uses for the home (table salt, curing meats, and brines), industry (rock salt for winter weather) and agriculture (killing weeds). Many of the advertisements were part of the "Pass the Salt" campaign and were featured in publications such as Woman's Day, National Provisioner, Food Industries, Hide, Leather and Shoes, Chemical Previews, and Public Works. The scrapbook is divided into three sections: institutional, weed prevention, and Lixate, a process developed by the International Salt Research Laboratory for making brine. Many of the advertisements were prepared by J.M. Mathes Incorporated.
Also included is a traveling salt kit for Sterling Salt Company salesmen, undated, featuring small glass vials of sterling salt from mines in Detroit, Avery Island, Louisiana, and Restof, New York. Each vial notes the types of salts--purified, softener, iodized, medium flake, coarse flake, granular flour, and meat.
Series 5, Posters, circa 1920s, consists of oversize advertising posters for Worcester Salt Company. There is one set of labels from an exhibit titled "I Eat Rocks! Salt of the Earth."
The collection is divided into five series.
Series 1, Business Records, 1894-1937
Series 2, Trademarks, 1881-1935
Series 3, Photographs, 1934-1993
Subseries 1, Harold Haliday Costain, circa 1934
Subseries 2, William Ritasse, circa 1934
Subseries 3, Loose Photographs, 1969-1993
Subseries 4, Slides, circa 1970s
Subseries 5, Album (damaged mine), undated
Series 4, Advertising and Marketing Materials, 1920-1948
Series 5, Posters, circa 1920s
Biographical / Historical:
The International Salt Company incorporated on August 22, 1901, and in 1902, the company purchased the stock and assets of the National Salt Company, which had failed. By 1934, International Salt was a holding company for six subsidiaries: Avery Salt Company (West Virginia), Detroit Rock Salt Company (Michigan), Eastern Salt Company (Massachusetts), Independent Salt Company (New York), International Salt Company, Inc. (New York), and Retsof Mining Company (New York). All of the subsidiaries operated rock salt mines and evaporated salt plants and distributed salt. In 1940, the International Salt Company decided to sell four of its subsidiaries--Avery Salt Company, Detroit Rock Salt Company, International Salt Company, Inc., and Retsof Mining Company.
John M. Avery discovered rock salt at Petite Anse, Louisiana in 1862. Petite Anse Island was renamed Avery Island in the late 19th century. Ownership and mining of salt at Petite Anse involved numerous parties until 1886, when New Iberia Salt Company took over operations. In 1896, the Avery family began operating the mine, and they founded the Avery Rock Salt Mining Company. In 1899, the International Salt Company leased the mine.
The Detroit Salt and Manufacturing Company was founded in 1906. The company quickly went bankrupt during construction of a shaft and was acquired in 1910 by the Watkins Salt Company, which incorporated the new organization under the name Detroit Rock Salt Company. The company experienced success and the International Salt Company purchased the mine circa 1914. In 1983, International Salt closed the mine's operations and in 1985, Crystal Mines, Inc., purchased the mine as a potential storage site.
In 1885 the Empire Salt Company of New York was renamed the Retsof Mine Company, and the Village of Retsof was founded near the mine shaft. During the next 110 years, the mine grew to become the largest salt-producing mine in the United States and the second largest in the world. Before the initial collapse in March 1994, the mine encompassed an underground area of more than 6,000 acres, and the mine footprint (outer edge of mined area) extended over an area of nearly ten square miles. At the time of the collapse, the Retsof Mine was owned by Akzo-Nobel Salt Incorporated (ANSI) and, during the winter of 1993--994 operated at full capacity to meet demands for road salt throughout the northeastern United States. The Retsof Mine ceased operations on September 2, 1995, and by December, twenty-one months after the initial collapse, the mine was completely flooded.
Materials held at the Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Institution Libraries, National Museum of American History
Trade catalogs from International Salt Company Inc., 1900s
Materials held at Other Organizations
Harvard University Archives
Ritasse, William M., 1894-1968. Photographs of Hardvard University campus and environs taken by William M. Ritasse, circa 1930.
Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs
Avery Rock Salt Mining Company, Plan. June 16, 1924 (AKZO No. 7-77-02) - Avery Island Salt Works, Akzo Salt Incorporated, Avery Island, Iberia Parish, LA
Salt Mine Village, Salt Workers' Houses No. 6, Avery Island, Iberia Parish, LA
Avery Island Sugarhouse, Avery Island, Iberia Parish, LA
State Library of Louisiana
Historic Photograph Collection contains images of salt mining at Avery Island, Louisiana.
University of North Carolina, Southern Historical Collection at the Louis Round Wilson Library
Papers for the Avery Family of Louisiana, 1796-1951
Tom Maeder donated the collection on June 13, 2009.
The collection is open for research.
Collection items available for reproduction, but the Archives Center makes no guarantees concerning copyright restrictions. Other intellectual property rights may apply. Archives Center cost-recovery and use fees may apply when requesting reproductions.