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Institute of Contemporary Arts records

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ICA founder Robert Richman was a poet and literary editor at New Republic magazine in the early 1950s. He was active in the arts community in D.C. and in international exchange organizations, including the Fine Arts Committee of the People-to-People Project, an initiative started by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in the late 1950s. Robert Richman passed away in 1987.
Provenance:
The Institute of Contemporary Arts records were donated by Maida Richman, the wife of the ICA's founder, Robert Richman, in 1986.
Restrictions:
Use of original papers requires an appointment.
Rights:
The Institute of Contemporary Arts records are owned by the Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution. Literary rights as possessed by the donor have been dedicated to public use for research, study, and scholarship. The collection is subject to all copyright laws.
Topic:
Art -- Societies, etc. -- Washington (D.C.)  Search this
Genre/Form:
Scrapbooks
Photographs
School records
Citation:
Institute of Contemporary Arts records, 1927-circa 1985, bulk 1947-1967. Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution.
Identifier:
AAA.instcona
See more items in:
Institute of Contemporary Arts records
Archival Repository:
Archives of American Art
EDAN-URL:
ead_collection:sova-aaa-instcona
Online Media:

David Jones, 1895-1974 : A map of the artist's mind / Merlin James ; with contributions by Arthur Giardelli, Nest Cleverdon, and Kathleen Raine

Title:
Map of the artist's mind
Author:
James, Merlin 1960-  Search this
Jones, David 1895-1974  Search this
Giardelli, Arthur  Search this
Cleverdon, Nest  Search this
Raine, Kathleen 1908-2003  Search this
Subject:
Jones, David Michael 1895-1974 Exhibitions  Search this
Jones, David Michael 1895-1974 Criticism and interpretation  Search this
Physical description:
72 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 27 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1995
Call number:
NC242.J645 A4 1995
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_654441

Blake and tradition [by] Kathleen Raine

Author:
Raine, Kathleen 1908-2003  Search this
Subject:
Blake, William 1757-1827 Sources  Search this
Physical description:
2 v. illus. (part col.) 26 cm
Type:
Books
Date:
1968
[c1968]
Call number:
PR4147 .R15
N40.1.B63 R15
PR4147.R15 N40.1.B63R15
Data Source:
Smithsonian Libraries
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:siris_sil_35407

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