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Fletcher Benton papers

Creator:
Benton, Fletcher, 1931-  Search this
Names:
André Emmerich Gallery  Search this
Galerie Denino  Search this
Bury, Pol, 1922-2005  Search this
De Wilde, Dan  Search this
Finn, David  Search this
Jones, Lillian E.  Search this
Louchheim, Marlene  Search this
Lucie-Smith, Edward  Search this
Marquand, Ed  Search this
Neubert, George W.  Search this
Rickey, George  Search this
Sanders, Pieter  Search this
Tooker, Dan  Search this
Valentine, De Wain, 1936-2022  Search this
Wilke, Ulfert, 1907-1987  Search this
Extent:
8.7 Linear feet
1.47 Gigabytes
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Gigabytes
Interviews
Motion pictures (visual works)
Drawings
Video recordings
Transcripts
Sound recordings
Photographs
Christmas cards
Date:
1934-2014
Summary:
The papers of sculptor and painter Fletcher Benton measure 8.2 linear feet and 1.47 GB and date from 1934 to 2014. They document his career as a sculptor with international presence through certificates, personal photographs, legal papers, correspondence, exhibition and commission documentation, clippings, exhibition-related printed materials, broadcast materials, publications about his work, an editioned kinetic Christmas card, and photographs, sound and video recordings, and motion picture film documenting his work and career.
Scope and Contents:
The papers of sculptor and painter Fletcher Benton measure 8.2 linear feet and 1.47 GB and date from 1934 to 2014. They document his career through personal photographs, legal papers, correspondence, exhibition and commission documentation, clippings, exhibition-related printed materials, broadcast materials, publications about his work, an editioned kinetic Christmas card, photographs, sound and video recordings motion picture film, some of which also appears in digitized form.

Biographical Materials include personal photographs, legal documents related to a court case with book designer Ed Marquand, biographical texts, interview transcripts, and a home video made by the artist. Correspondence is with other artists, friends, galleries, museums and other institutions, including George W. Neubert, André Emmerich Gallery, Pieter Sanders, Pol Bury, George Rickey, Ulfert Wilke, Marlene Louchheim, DeWain Valentine, Lillian E. Jones, and Edward Lucie-Smith. Interviews include sound recordings of interviews with Benton by academics and journalists, including Edward Lucie-Smith, Dan Tooker, and Dan De Wilde.

Exhibition and Commission Files consist of correspondence with galleries, museums and commission patrons; financial records; shipping and subcontracting documentation; motion picture film, video, and sound recordings related to exhibitions and installations; and planning and design materials. Series includes a significant amount of oversized drawings and plans for site-specific work. There is a large volume documentation from the Folded Circle-Arc commission by Stanley Consultants, Inc. in Muscatine, Iowa; the California/International Arts Foundation Traveling Sculpture Exhibition; Double Folded Circle Ring in Brussels and Double Circle Folded by Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Printed Materials include news clippings related to Benton's career, as well as brochures, exhibition catalogs, posters and other printed materials related to exhibitions and commissions. Broadcast materials include television news footage, radio and television interviews, documentaries, and promotional materials made by galleries and other cultural institutions.

Photographic and Moving Image Materials include art-related images showing Benton in his studio and images of exhibitions, installations and inaugurations. Also found are still photographs and motion picture films of artworks, including paintings, sculptures, and kinetic drawings, and a series of photographs of sculptures taken by David Finn.

Artwork consists of an editioned art Christmas card created by Benton for Galeria Bonino in New York from 1969. An American Artist Moving Image Materials consist of 13 videocassettes (VHS) which document the production process of the documentaryFletcher Benton: An American Artist by Morgan Cavett. There is footage from interviews with Benton and with curator George W. Neubert, footage of San Francisco with comments from Benton about his time there, interviews with the artist's studio assistants, images of his studio in Dore street and a couple of almost finished rough versions of the documentary.
Arrangement:
This collection is arranged as nine series.

Missing Title

Series 1: Biographical Material (0.3 linear feet; boxes 1, 9)

Series 2: Correspondence (1 linear foot; boxes 1, 2, OV 10)

Series 3: Interviews (0.3 linear feet; box 2)

Series 4: Exhibition and Commission Files (2 linear feet, 0.50 GB; boxes 2-4, OV 11-13, RD 14, FC 15, ER01)

Series 5: Printed Materials (2.3 linear feet; boxes 4-6, OV 10)

Series 6: Broadcast Materials (1.1 linear foot; boxes 6-7)

Series 7: Photographic and Moving Image Materials (0.5 linear feet, 0.97 GB; boxes 7, 9, FC 16-17, ER02)

Series 8: Artwork (1 item; box 7)

Series 9: -- An American Artist -- Video Recordings (0.6 linear feet; boxes 7-8)
Biographical / Historical:
Fletcher Benton was born in Jackson, Ohio in 1931 to Fletcher and Nell Cavett Benton and was the oldest of three children. Benton graduated from Jackson High School in 1949. After serving in the Navy he graduated from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) in 1956 and moved to San Francisco, where he started working as an instructor at the California College of Arts and Crafts in 1959. He was in San Francisco during the flourishing of the Beat generation, where he had a studio in the North beach area and exhibited at coffee house galleries.

After travelling around Europe in 1960, Benton moved to New York City where he tried to make his living through painting and teaching privately. During those years he was supported by Jackson's local arts patron and family friend, Lillian E. Jones. In 1960 he had his first solo exhibition at Gump's gallery in San Francisco, but his work was taken down after one day because it was considered obscene for including female nudes. He returned to San Francisco in late 1961.

In 1966 Fletcher started teaching at the San Francisco Art Institute and established himself as a primary figure of American kinetic art. In 1966, Peter Selz included his work in the exhibition Directions in Kinetic Sculpture at the University Art Gallery in Berkeley, CA. During the exhibition Benton met the artists Pol Bury and George Rickey with whom he became friends. The exhibition, along with an article "The Movement Movement" that appeared in Time magazine the same year, established Benton's reputation as a significant American Kinetic artist. He also started teaching at the California State University in San José in 1967 where he continued working until 1986.

By 1974 Benton abandoned kinetic art to continue exploring sculpture in three dimensions in a style that became known as "new constructivism." The artworks were conceived in the series Folded Circles and Folded Square Alphabets and were produced in bronze, aluminum and steel. It was also during the 1970s that he started doing large-scale commissions such as the 1977 IBM commission.

Between 1981 and 1984 Benton constructed his studio in Dore Street in the Market district of San Francisco where he continues to work today. During the 1980s Benton started his Balanced/Unbalanced series, which introduced the idea of gravity using geometric forms in different formats and sizes.

From 1984 he began to show more work in Europe, especially in Germany, where in 1993 he got a major commission to create a colossal public sculpture in Cologne entitled Steel Watercolor Triangle Ring. It was also in Germany where Benton encountered the work of Wassily Kandinsky and Kazimir Malevich, and he began work on his Construct Relief series in reponse, which he dedicated to Kandinsky. These geometric constructions are flat, canvas-like steel structures that combine features of painting and sculpture. As the series evolved, the work became more like painting, constructed to hang on the wall without a back piece, so they seem to be floating in the space.

Benton continues to live and work in San Francisco and is represented by multiple galleries in the United States and Germany.
Related Materials:
Also found in the Archives of American Art is an oral history interview with Fletcher Benton conducted by Paul J. Karlstrom, 1989 May 2-4 is available on the Archives of American Art website.
Provenance:
Donated 2005-2006 and 2014 by Fletcher Benton. Benton's wife, Bobbie Benton, organized the material by subject matter and date.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment. Use of audiovisual material without a duplicate copy requires advanced notice.
Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Occupation:
Painters -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Sculptors -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Topic:
Artists' studios -- Photographs  Search this
Genre/Form:
Interviews
Motion pictures (visual works)
Drawings
Video recordings
Transcripts
Sound recordings
Photographs
Christmas cards
Citation:
Fletcher Benton papers, 1934-2014. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.bentflet
See more items in:
Fletcher Benton papers
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9951bf858-723f-4f17-804b-fc250edde964
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-bentflet

Oral history interview with Jerry Rothman

Interviewee:
Rothman, Jerry, 1933-2014  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Creator:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Names:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Extent:
109 Pages (Transcript)
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Sound recordings
Interviews
Date:
2010 August 30-31
Scope and Contents:
An interview of Jerry Rothman conducted 2010 August 30 and 31, by Mija Riedel, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at Rothman's home and studio, in San Miguel del Allende, Mexico. Jerry Rothman and Mija Riedel discuss the artist's relocation to Mexico in 2004, the influence of Mexican folk art, his first design job as a teenager, his early marriage to Catherine Bosley the sculptor, her death caused by progressive MS, his experience creating public sculpture, designing dinnerware, the switch to working with clay sculpture, political commentary through artwork, the use of eroticism in his artwork, particularly Leda and the Swan, the form and color used for the Bay Views series as well as others, and his philosophy on form and perspective in artwork and renaissance artists.
Biographical / Historical:
Jerry Rothman (1933- ) is a ceramist in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Mija Riedel is a writer and independent scholar in San Francisco, California.
General:
Originally recorded on 5 memory cards as 6 digital sound files. Duration is 4 hr., 31 min.
Provenance:
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Restrictions:
The transcript and recording are open for research. Contact Reference Services for more information.
Topic:
Ceramicists -- Mexico -- Interviews  Search this
Genre/Form:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Identifier:
AAA.rothma10
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw955d67ccd-df3d-4ad8-a6c6-c0cf547618cc
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-rothma10
Online Media:

Fredrick Olmsted papers

Creator:
Olmsted, Fred, 1911-  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project (Calif.)  Search this
San Francisco Junior College  Search this
Extent:
17 Items ((on partial microfilm reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Date:
1940-1941
Scope and Contents:
Photographs of Olmsted's sculpture of the head of Michelangelo for the San Francisco Junior College and a copy of a speech delivered during Homecoming to dedicate his works, April 27, 1941.
Biographical / Historical:
Sculptor, San Francisco, Calif. Worked on the Federal Art Project in San Francisco.
Provenance:
The lender, Lewis Ferbrache, collected papers for AAA from artists and administrators of the various government funded art programs of the Depression. It was part of a larger nation-wide, collecting project, "New Deal and the Arts."
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Occupation:
Sculptors  Search this
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Federal aid to the public welfare -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Art and state -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Public sculpture -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.olmsfred
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw966e13f80-2f54-43ab-8078-c11d8aea0a57
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-olmsfred

Lulette Jenness Thompson Letters regarding Bessie Potter Vonnoh

Collection Creator:
Vonnoh, Bessie Potter, 1872-1955  Search this
Container:
Box 1, Folder 11
Type:
Archival materials
Date:
1952-1954, 1982, 1985
Collection Restrictions:
The collection has been digitized and is available online via AAA's website.
Collection Rights:
The Archives of American Art makes its archival collections available for non-commercial, educational and personal use unless restricted by copyright and/or donor restrictions, including but not limited to access and publication restrictions. AAA makes no representations concerning such rights and restrictions and it is the user's responsibility to determine whether rights or restrictions exist and to obtain any necessary permission to access, use, reproduce and publish the collections. Please refer to the Smithsonian's Terms of Use for additional information.
Collection Citation:
Bessie Potter Vonnoh papers, circa 1860-1991. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
See more items in:
Bessie Potter Vonnoh papers
Bessie Potter Vonnoh papers / Series 2: Correspondence
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw9948af12e-ac0a-4787-b814-85b7283d6281
EDAN-URL:
ead_component:sova-aaa-vonnbess-ref26
1 Page(s) matching your search term, top most relevant are shown: View entire project in transcription center
  • View Lulette Jenness Thompson Letters regarding Bessie Potter Vonnoh digital asset number 1

A survey of art work in the city and county of San Francisco, / by Martin Snipper for the art commission, city and county of San Francisco

Creator:
Snipper, Martin  Search this
Names:
Federal Art Project (Calif.)  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
United States. Dept. of the Treasury. Section of Fine Arts  Search this
Extent:
100 Pages ((on partial microfilm reel))
Type:
Collection descriptions
Archival materials
Pages
Date:
1950
Scope and Contents:
A descriptive list of paintings and sculpture in San Francisco public buildings done for federal projects; programs covered include Public Works of Art Project, the Federal Art Project, and Section of Fine Arts competitions for federal buildings.
Biographical / Historical:
Art historian, San Francisco, Calif. The New Deal art programs provided jobs for thousands of unemployed artists during the Depression.
Provenance:
Snipper prepared the survey for the Art Commission of San Francisco in 1950.
Restrictions:
The Archives of American art does not own the original papers. Use is limited to the microfilm copy.
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Art and state -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Mural painting and decoration, American  Search this
Public sculpture -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Identifier:
AAA.snipmart
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
GUID:
https://n2t.net/ark:/65665/mw952b3bc47-03f0-4b06-8b2d-27135a89baaa
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-snipmart

Oral history interview with Jerry Rothman, 2010 August 30-31

Interviewee:
Rothman, Jerry, 1933-2014  Search this
Rothman, Jerry, 1933-2014  Search this
Interviewer:
Riedel, Mija, 1958-  Search this
Subject:
Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America  Search this
Type:
Sound recordings
Interviews
Topic:
Ceramicists -- Mexico -- Interviews  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)15872
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)295422
AAA_collcode_rothma10
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_oh_295422
Online Media:

A survey of art work in the city and county of San Francisco, / by Martin Snipper for the art commission, city and county of San Francisco, 1950

Creator:
Snipper, Martin  Search this
Snipper, Martin  Search this
Subject:
Federal Art Project (Calif.)  Search this
Public Works of Art Project  Search this
United States. Dept. of the Treasury. Section of Fine Arts  Search this
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Art and state -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Mural painting and decoration, American  Search this
Public sculpture -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Theme:
Government Sponsorship of the Arts  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9831
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212296
AAA_collcode_snipmart
Theme:
Government Sponsorship of the Arts
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_212296

Fredrick Olmsted papers, 1940-1941

Creator:
Olmsted, Fred, 1911-  Search this
Olmsted, Fred, 1911-  Search this
Subject:
San Francisco Junior College  Search this
Federal Art Project (Calif.)  Search this
Topic:
Federal aid to the arts -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Federal aid to the public welfare -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Art and state -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Public sculpture -- California -- San Francisco  Search this
Theme:
Audio - Visual  Search this
Record number:
(DSI-AAA_CollID)9839
(DSI-AAA_SIRISBib)212316
AAA_collcode_olmsfred
Theme:
Audio - Visual
Data Source:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:AAADCD_coll_212316

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